Hurricanes flanker Ardie Savea said the prospect of a Pacific Islands team in Super Rugby Aotearoa gets his “heart pumping”.
Last Friday, New Zealand Rugby released the Aratipu Report – a review into the competition’s future – that supported the idea of a Pasifika team being added.
Chief executive Mark Robinson said: “There is a huge desire to have a Pasifika team involved which we think will be massive for the competition, popular with fans and is a priority for us.
“As we know, our Pacific nations and Pasifika players in New Zealand have added so much to the rich history of rugby in Oceania and our game here in New Zealand. To have a team that would provide an additional pathway for Pasifika players to perform on the world stage would be hugely exciting.”
Savea, who is of Samoan descent, thinks it would be “awesome” to see a Pacific Island side involved given the rugby heritage in the region.
“Man, that’s something that gets my heart pumping,” he told reporters on Thursday.
“I feel like we haven’t done enough for the Pacific Islands and to hear they’re considering putting a Pacific Island team in this new competition is amazing.
“It gets me up because you see so many Super Rugby teams, the All Blacks, all across the world it’s Pasifika dominated and it’s awesome to see that we’re giving back.
“Hopefully it gets through and something happens. It’d be awesome.”
The Hurricanes face the Crusaders on Saturday, with Savea excited to be involved despite admitting his body is “in bits”.
The All Black missed the broader competition before it was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, having had knee surgery following the Rugby World Cup last year.
“I’m battling. My body is in bits at the moment,” he said.
“I’m feeling it. I’m sore, but excited for this week.”
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