Hammett defends Ardie Savea omission

Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett has been forced to defend his decision to start Ardie Savea in his team to play the Brumbies this weekend.

Hammett put Ardie Savea on the replacements bench last week and has again named him on the bench for this week’s clash.

The Hurricanes coach made two changes to the team that lost to the Stormers and Adam Hill comes in at blindside while James Marshall replaces Marty Banks at fullback.

“Jack Lam for us has been outstanding, he was probably our outstanding player on tour and he’s a Samoan international, so firstly Ardie has to overcome that,” Hammett told Fairfax NZ News defending his selections.

“The other side is Ardie will see time and plenty of time through this season. He’s a fantastic player and guy we’re looking forward to seeing him out there.”

Savea toured with the All Blacks on their end of year tour last year as they wanted to introduce him to the All Black way but at twenty years old Savea is still progressing in size, strength and experience.

“He’s a very good player, but he’s a young player and like anyone who has either made the All Blacks or made Super teams, they are still learning, they still have parts of their trade to improve on and Ardie’s no different. He’s working hard behind the scenes.

“There are elements not just on the field. He has to work hard on his strength and size, but that takes time. You don’t just put size on in five minutes or even five months. He’s got targets of where he wants to go and he makes up for it with his power and speed.

“There seems to be a big fuss about it at the moment, but I don’t know what the fuss is to be honest.”

“He’s a great player and in time he’s going to get there,” explained Hammett.

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