Plaudits as 'young' Savea reaches his ton
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Plaudits flowed in for a 'young' Julian Savea, who will play his 100th Super Rugby match - when the Hurricanes take on the Chiefs on Friday.
The Hurricanes wing becomes the 49th player to join the New Zealand Super Rugby centurions club, and the 11th Hurricane to make the milestone.
Julian Savea made his debut for Wellington in 2010 and played his first game for the Hurricanes a year later in 2011 at the age of 20.
He had previously played for the New Zealand secondary schools team in 2008 and the New Zealand Sevens team in 2009, before making a name for himself on the international scene winning World Rugby's Junior Player of the Year Award in 2010 after scoring eight tries for the Junior World Championship-winning New Zealand Under-20 side in Argentina.
Savea made his All Blacks debut against Ireland at Eden Park on 9 June 2012 and has gone on to play 52 tests and scoring 45 tries.
New Zealand Rugby Union Chief Executive Steve Tew congratulated Savea on the milestone.
"It's hard to believe that Julian has reached his 100th game milestone at the age of just 26," Tew said.
He's a born-and-bred Wellingtonian, so what a perfect way to bring up his 100th, in front of his home crowd at Westpac Stadium.
"I know Julian's family and friends will be incredibly proud of what he's achieved in his career so far and I wish him all the best for Friday's game."
Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said it was a significant achievement for any player to reach 100 Super Rugby matches.
"To play 100 matches at this level shows a high level of commitment and professionalism and for Julian to do it in the Hurricanes jersey is a great story.
"He's a local guy who has been in the Wellington and Hurricanes system since he was at Rongotai College and he came through the Oriental Rongotai club, so I think a lot of people will be very proud on Friday."
Julian Savea said it had always been a privilege to represent the club and it would be a proud moment to bring up his 100th match in front of friends and family at Westpac Stadium.
"This team means a lot to me and I've always felt privileged and proud to represent the club. I'm really looking forward to running out against the Chiefs and hopefully we can get the right result."
NZRU board member Mark Robinson will present Savea with a greenstone mere, the traditional gift for players who have played 100 Super Rugby matches, all for New Zealand teams.