Savea will justify selection says Hansen
REACTION: All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has backed wing Julian Savea to justify his selection against the Wallabies in Wellington on Saturday.
Savea, who has been struggling for form this year, will start in the No.11 jersey for the injured Waisake Naholo and Hansen believes his inclusion in the starting team will give him some much needed confidence.
"If you want an example of what confidence can do, think about Dan Carter last year," Hansen told the Dominion Post.
"Everyone wrote him off [before the 2015 World Cup] and said he shouldn't be in the team and he came semi-good in the quarterfinal and then just took off as that confidence got better and better and better and by the end of the tournament he was the best player in the tournament.
"That's what self-belief and inner-confidence can do for a real quality player and Julian's a quality player."
Hansen said Savea showed his quality in last weekend's 42-8 win over the Wallabies in Sydney when he replaced Naholo.
"He came on and played 40 minutes and had some success. His defence was outstanding, scored a great try that not many people would've been able to finish off, so those things give an internal confidence and that's all he needs," said Hansen.
"If he can get away to a good start again in the weekend I'm sure we'll see it again and I'm sure he'll just blossom and blossom."
Savea said he will be forgetting about his frustrations in the last few weeks when he runs out for the All Blacks on Saturday.
"It's very hard sometimes. Maybe not playing for quite a few weeks, then getting your opportunity and actually trying too hard to impress whoever," Savea told the Dominion Post.
"I guess that's what I'm trying to get out of my mind and just enjoying footy and doing what I do."
Source: Dominion Post