Ex-All Black Savea rejoins Wellington in Super Rugby

Wellington (AFP) –


World Cup-winning former All Black Julian Savea has returned to his hometown team Wellington Hurricanes after a two-year absence, the Super Rugby Aotearoa club announced Monday.

The powerhouse winger left Toulon in May after the French club rugby season was cut short by coronavirus and underwent quarantine after landing back in New Zealand.

Hurricanes coach Jason Holland said Savea, nicknamed "The Bus" because of his line-breaking attacking runs, had been working hard to stay fit.

"He's played 100 games for the Hurricanes and is a big part of what's happened here in the past and we're looking forward to the experience he can bring in," Holland told reporters.

Savea scored 46 tries in 54 Tests for the All Blacks, including an eight-try haul during the New Zealanders' successful 2015 World Cup campaign.

"Looking forward to rejoining my brothers down at the Hurricanes for the remainder of the season," Savea tweeted.

"Blessed to get this opportunity and very grateful! Back to where it all started."

However, the 29-year-old's reunion with the Hurricanes may be short-lived, as they only have two matches left in Super Rugby Aotearoa and Holland has ruled him out of an August 8 clash with Waikato Chiefs.

That means the final-round match against Otago Highlanders on August 15 will be his only chance to run out in a Hurricanes shirt this year.

Holland also confirmed the Hurricanes have lost in-form centre Ngani Laumape and prop Fraser Armstrong for the rest of the season after they were injured in Saturday's 34-32 win over Canterbury Crusaders.