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Savea makes cut for national rugby team

Sep 16th, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News, Sport

ARDIE Savea was too scared to watch.

But when he heard his mum and dad screaming at the TV, he knew he’d made the New Zealand secondary schools rugby team.

“My whole family was there to watch it, but I didn’t really wanna see just in case I didn’t make it,” says Ardie about the announcement of the team, made after the College XV Top Four tournament in Rotorua on August 28.

“So I hid somewhere, but I could hear the TV. I heard the family scream so I assumed that I was in.”

The 17-year-old Rongotai College student was the only Wellington player selected for the national team, which will play two Australian school teams in Sydney this month.

 “I feel privileged,” he says about being the only Wellingtonian on the team. “It’s mean, it’s good.”

Ardie has been working toward his goal of making the New Zealand schools team since the beginning of the year, fitting it around his duties as Rongotai’s head boy and his commitments to the volleyball and touch rugby teams.

“I surprised myself. I’ve been training with the Wellington Academy and with school rugby as well.

It’s definitely been hard work. I made a lot of sacrifices.”

Ardie says he has had a lot of support along the way, especially from family.

“They’ve always been in my ear to keep going. Like if I missed training, or was sick, they’d growl me off and want me to go to training.”

Ardie, brother of Hurricane Julian Savea, admits his family is a bit rugby mad.

 “It’s just through the genes I think. When I was young I just loved rugby. Mum and dad used to play, so I must have got it from them.”

Ardie started playing when he was five, playing with his brother in the under-7s grade.

He has now set his sights on a career in professional rugby, and like every young rugby player in New Zealand, one day wants to be an All Black.

But for now, he has got training with the New Zealand secondary schools squad, starting on September 24 in Hamilton, the morning after Ardie’s school ball.

“I’ve have to take it easy because I don’t want to go the next day and have them growl me off for it.”

The squad will play against Waikato under 20s and an Australia A team, before the Australian test on October 8.

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is a Whitireia journalism student.
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