Julian Savea - "It's Surreal To Be Starting A Test With Ardie"

Publish Date
Friday, 16 September 2016, 4:01PM
Getty Images

Getty Images

Julian Savea's beaming with brotherly pride ahead of starting an All Blacks test with his brother for the first time.

Younger brother Ardie will get his first run on appearance in the number 7 jersey tomorrow night against the Springboks in Christchurch.

Julian said it's something they dreamed of doing when they were young.

"We used to play a lot of rugby in the backyard and pretend we were All Blacks, the other All Blacks like Jonah, run down the sideline, and to actually be here now it's kind of surreal."

Julian said even when starting out, he knew Ardie was going to be a great player.

"We were under 10s and he was probably about five. He wanted to play alongside me and he always got on for maybe 30 minutes, tackling some big boys. He did tackle harder than a five-year-old could tackle, if you know what I mean."

The Springboks are zeroing in on Ardie.

After five test appearances this year off the bench, Savea gets his first start in place of the injured Sam Cane.

Coach Allister Coetzee said Savea's brings the element of speed and they have to be prepared.

"Because of Ardie's timing to the breakdown our ball carriers have got to be clever this week and make sure that we do the fundamentals of ball carrying correctly."

Some added responsibility for Pieter-Steph du Toit in just his third test start at lock tomorrow night for the Springboks.

Du Toit will partner Eben Etzebeth in the second row against the All Blacks in Christchurch, replacing the injured Lood de Jager.

Coetzee said du Toit will also call the lineouts.

"Get some starting opportunity to manage that process for us. It's one areas we know there will be a lot of pressure on. The All Blacks have improved a hell of a lot with their defensive lineout."

Both sides wrap preparations with their captain's runs today.

via Radio Sport

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