Former All Black Julian Savea to leave New Zealand for French club Toulon - report

Former All Blacks winger Julian Savea could be the latest New Zealand rugby star bound for Europe, with French media reporting that the Hurricanes flyer has penned a two-year deal with Toulon.

Savea, 27, hasn't featured for the All Blacks since the third Test against the British and Irish Lions last year, subsequently losing his place to the likes of Rieko Ioane, Waisake Naholo and Nehe Milner-Skudder.

According to French site RMC Sport, Savea will sign a two year deal with the French giants, replacing the likes of Ma'a Nonu and Semi Radradra.

Savea would join fellow Kiwis Alby Mathewson and Malakai Fekitoa in Toulon, while Liam Messam is also inbound at the end of the current season.

Savea has played 54 Tests for the All Blacks, scoring 46 tries.

The All Blacks' winger has been recalled to the starting side for the Eden Park clash.
Julian Savea Source: Photosport



Watch the jubilant moment Otago lift the Ranfurly Shield from Waikato

Otago came out of the blocks in lightning fashion to take a 17-0 lead in Hamilton this afternoon, then hung on in the dying minutes, to take the Log O' Wood south to Dunedin.

Trailing 23-19 late in the second half, Waikato made repeated forays to cross for the match-winning try and a staunch Otago defence held strong for a victory that also lifted them into second place in the Mitre Ten Championship, behind Waikato.

Otago last won the Shield in 2013, also here in Hamilton, before suffering Shield defeats in 2014 and 2017.

Waikato had a gilt-edged chance to steal the clash in the dying minutes but, after winning a penalty close to the Otago line, it was reversed when forward Jono Armstrong was ruled to have kicked a player on the ground.



'I can easily hand over the tee' - Beauden Barrett happy to relinquish goal kicking duties

All Blacks first-five Beauden Barrett says he's happy to relinquish goal kicking duties to Richie Mo'unga, after his woes with the boot earlier this season.

After a barren display with the boot against South Africa in Wellington last month, Barrett's kicking had come under heavy fire, before putting in two perfect displays against Argentina and South Africa respectively.

Barrett unselfishly let young Mo'unga take the game winning kick against South Africa. Source: 1 NEWS

However, late in the second half of last week's win over South Africa in Pretoria, Barrett allowed Mo'unga to take up the kicking responsibilities, going on to ace the match winning shot at goal under pressure.

Speaking to Radio Sport, Barrett said that he's happy to allow another kicker to step up, if and when the situation arises.

Barrett converted only two conversions from six in tonight's 36-34 loss to the Springboks. Source: 1 NEWS

"It's something that I learnt in the Wellington test, and something I hadn't done before," Barrett said.

"On occasions where I perhaps may not be feeling good about my kicking I can easily hand over the tee.

The All Blacks' first-five has come under criticism for his performance against the Lions. Source: 1 NEWS

"It's important that everyone's prepared. By all means the number 10 doesn't have to do the job. It could be a front rower. It's something we're pretty fixated with in New Zealand rugby, it doesn't have to be whoever's at flyhalf doing that job.

"So what I'm saying is that it could vary."

The All Blacks first-five's missed efforts proved costly during New Zealand's loss in Wellington. Source: 1 NEWS




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'It's only made me more hungry' – Harbour flanker Dillon Hunt desperate for All Blacks return

North Harbour flanker Dillon Hunt is eyeing up a return to the All Blacks squad, hoping to be selected among Steve Hansen's 51-man group for this year's end of year tour. 

Hunt, 23, is firming as a surefire selection for Steve Hansen's side, with injury seeing Sam Cane unavailable, while Matt Todd is currently playing overseas in Japan.

Having been selected on last year's end of year tour, Hunt has played once for the All Blacks - against a French Barbarians side - although is still waiting for a Test debut.

Speaking to 1 NEWS this morning though, Hunt remained coy on the prospect of more time in the black jersey.

"You never know, there's a lot of good talent going around, it's really on a knife edge," he said.

"I don't think that'll ever change in New Zealand."

However, despite playing down his All Blacks chances, Hunt also says he's eager for another stint with Hansen's side.

"Being in the environment was a lot more welcoming than I expected," he began.

"Just a really good high performance environment, where you can improve yourself.

"From being in there, it's only made me more hungry to be back in there."

The All Blacks' end of year tour squad is announced on Monday.

After going on last year's European tour, Hunt is almost certain for Steve Hansen's 51-man squad. Source: 1 NEWS