27 Feb 2020

All Black Savea's talk of switch to league blindsides Hurricanes

1:02 pm on 27 February 2020

The Hurricanes admit they were blindsided by All Black flanker Ardie Savea's admission he's keen to play rugby league but are confident he won't be leaving rugby any time soon.

Ardie Savea performing the haka before the All Blacks Test against Australia in Perth in 2019.

Ardie Savea Photo: Photosport

Speaking on The Ice Project podcast earlier this week Savea said he was contemplating a move to the NRL when his current contract expires at the end of the 2021 season.

Hurricanes chief executive Avan Lee admits he was surprised by the comments and has spoken to Savea about his future.

"It was a surprise...(but) I don't think it's serious. It's a comment he's made to a rugby league guy on a podcast so we have had a joke about it to be honest," Lee said.

"We are not worried about Ardie leaving the Hurricanes or rugby. A lot of athetes have an interest in other sports, they watch other sports and he's expressed an interest in rugby league and we don't see it as any more than that."

However, Lee said they hadn't spoken to Savea about his contract beyond 2021.

"We haven't had any talks with Ardie or his agent formally...and neither have New Zealand rugby. For us it's a non-issue and he's a hundred percent focused on getting back on the field."

Savea is currently recovering from a knee injury he suffered at the World Cup and Lee said he's enjoying being back around the side.