Julian Savea stays with Hurricanes
Cape Town - Julian Savea is staying with the Hurricanes with the All Black wing believing his best chance of regaining his Test spot is by staying home in Wellington.
The New Zealand Herald recently exposed a clause in Savea's contract that allowed him to leave the Hurricanes midway through his four-year New Zealand Rugby contract.
The Chiefs were believed to have been pursuing Savea by trying to convince him he needed a change of scenery to reignite his career.
Savea has played second fiddle to the likes of Nehe Milner-Skudder and Wes Goosen at the 'Canes this season and was subsequently dropped by the All Blacks.
On Tuesday, Savea clarified his immediate career plans.
"I've decided to stay with the Hurricanes," he told the NZ Herald.
"With everything that's been going on over the past year I know in my heart that's the best place to get my rugby back.
"Whatever I need to do to get my spot back I will and I'm excited by that challenge.
"I weighed up everything. I know in my heart this is home. There's family and we're just about to have a kid. Regardless if I did decide to go anywhere I still needed to perform well."
Savea did allegedly consider a move to the Chiefs, especially after James Lowe's departure.
"When you have that option it definitely is tempting. I put a lot of things on the table. There was only one other franchise I was looking at. I know if any team is going to help me get back to the best it is the Hurricanes," he said.
After being axed from the All Blacks' Rugby Championship squad, Savea has said he wants to focus on enjoying his rugby again. His family has supported him through this difficult period and he believes he is now ready to get back to his best.
"When I first found out I didn't make the team it was disappointing but there's a silver lining. It was an opportunity to sit back and reflect on where I am, and it was exciting that I want to be better and get back in the environment. I know I've got a lot of things to work on and I'm excited to do that.
"I wasn't enjoying rugby... I don't know if you could tell by the way I was playing or not. I've got to take ownership of not playing well but now I'm happy with where I'm at.
"I don't have to worry about what everyone is saying and I guess that's what I have been doing in the past... letting the external noise affect me. Now I'm happy and excited to get back to where I know I can be."
Savea also explained what the All Blacks coaching staff had been telling him during this period.
"It was to get my head space right, which I think I've done. A lot of the young boys are getting faster and you've got to keep up with their speed on the outside. At the moment I'm enjoying the challenge."
Savea has now specifically requested to play on the ring wing for his provincial side to prove his versatility, display his step and fend and return to the side where he started his career.
"The only reason I went to the left was because Cory Jane wanted to play on the right so in 2012 I went to the left."