All Blacks: Ardie Savea 'enjoying' rugby reason behind his resurgence in form

Loose-forward Ardie Savea is crediting a simple approach for his resurgence to form with the All Blacks, saying he's 'enjoying his footy' more than ever before.

The 25-year-old has been one of New Zealand's best in their last three fixtures against Argentina, South Africa and most recently in the third Bledisloe Cup test against the Wallabies in Yokohoma.

With Sam Cane ruled out indefinitely with a fractured neck, Savea has become New Zealand's premier openside flanker and he has taken the opportunity with both hands.

Savea was a late inclusion at number eight for the Pumas test, replacing an ill Luke Whitelock, and was named man of the match.

He backed that up with an extended cameo off the bench, due to the Cane injury in Pretoria, where he came up with a significant turnover and scored the try to set up the match-winning conversion.

He then arguably outplayed Michael Hooper in the dead-rubber Bledisloe test on Saturday.

"I am enjoying it at the moment, going out there and backing myself," he said. "I am just enjoying my footy.

"In the past, [I've] been trying to do a bit too much - obviously, on the field and probably, in my head. I've found a way to just simplify things, instinctively just playing what's in front of me.

"It's been an awesome feeling."

Coach Steve Hansen also took time to praise Savea's recent form.

"He's taken a lot of confidence. He himself would probably say to you he's not overthinking the game as much as he thought he was.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. Photo credit: Photosport

"He's got his structures right for how to get out there and play well. He's doing it week-in, week-out.

"He's taken a lot of confidence from being out there long periods of time too, rather than little stints."

Savea will be part of the main squad that travels straight to England on Thursday, while the reinforcements prepare for this weekend's test against Japan in Tokyo.

That would see Dalton Papali'i or Dillon Hunt likely start in the seven jersey against Japan.

Back in July, Savea re-signed with New Zealand Rugby until the end of next year's World Cup, which has raised questions about his future in the national side.

Respected French rugby newspaper Midi Olympique reports Pau is chasing the Hurricanes and Wellington forward, with a massive offer currently on the table.

Older brother Julian left at the end of the last Super Rugby season to join Toulon, but the younger Savea is adamant his only focus right now is on the All Blacks.

"Obviously, I am in the process of making a decision about my future, but at the moment, I am just trying to worry about this tour," Savea said.

"After the tour finishes, I will start to think about my future."

Midi has also reported that All Blacks fullback Ben Smith has signed with Pau, a club that boasts several former New Zealand internationals, including Colin Slade, Benson Stanley, Frank Halai and Tom Taylor.