Savea won’t change style after ABs captaincy call

An emotional Ardie Savea says he has no intention of deviating from his usual approach to rugby despite being named New Zealand captain ahead of the All Blacks’ Rugby Championship meeting with Australia in Perth next weekend.

Savea will celebrate his 53rd appearance for his country by taking over the captaincy after coach Ian Foster selected the flanker to replace stand-in skipper Sam Whitelock.

Whitelock will miss the game as his wife is due to give birth, while regular captain Sam Cane has been ruled out as he continues to recover from surgery on a pectoral injury.

“To be able to lead such a team, it’s out of this world when I think about it,” 27-year-old Savea told reporters.

“And to be able to tell Mum and Dad was huge. Two people that migrated from Samoa to create a better life for their kids – sorry, I’m getting a bit emotional – to be here for them is pretty special.

“I’m still in awe. It’s a team that you dream of as a kid, and being able to lead is amazing. I’m lost for words and really grateful.”

The All Blacks will take on the Australians in Perth having already defeated the Wallabies in Auckland earlier in the month in their opening game of The Rugby Championship.

That win also ensured New Zealand won the Bledisloe Cup – the annual competition played between the trans-Tasman rivals – for the 19th year in a row.

After the meeting on Sunday the teams will travel to Queensland to complete commitments in The Rugby Championship while the All Blacks face further time away from home when they embark on a series of matches in the northern hemisphere.

“A big thing is just being myself and leading the way I usually lead, which is just trying to do it through actions,” Savea said.

“I’m not a quiet dude but I usually go about things in a quiet way, so I won’t change much.”