All Blacks legend Sir Michael Jones has hailed the form of current incumbent Ardie Savea, proving himself to be one of the most destructive players in the world so far this year.
A standout for the Hurricanes in Super Rugby, Savea has proven to be a game breaker this year - helping his side seal a home quarter-final against the Bulls next weekend.
Such has been Savea's form, that All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has said he's even contemplating playing him and Sam Cane at the same time.
Speaking to Stuff, Sir Michael joined in the plaudits coming Savea's way, having set the benchmark as to the standard of an All Blacks loose forward.
"We're just seeing Ardie starting to feel really comfortable in his skin and understand his unique gifts and all the capability and skills he has," Sir Michael told the Sunday Star Times.
"I've always admired his style of play, and thought he brings a dimension that is very much needed in our game, whether that is at openside or potentially as a No 8.
"He's demonstrated that he's a very capable and world-class 7 and 8 – and that gives our selectors options too."
Named on the bench for last night's win over the Blues, Savea will no doubt be thrust into the Hurricanes' starting side when the Bulls arrive in Wellington for next week's quarter-final.