Super Rugby Aotearoa 2021: Ardie Savea goes back to school ahead of Hurricanes captaincy debut

The Hurricanes new skipper Ardie Savea is ready for all the challenges that are thrown his way throughout the campaign. 

The Wellington side open their Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign against the Blues on Saturday and the new captain is in for a big night. 

The Hurricanes legend will lead his side out for the first time in what will also be his 100th appearance for the club. 

Both sides have lost key All Blacks for their 2021 seasons, but it's the ascension of another that the Hurricanes hope can lead them to success.

Savea will be joined by his brother Julian who is back after three seasons in France as they run out for their season opener. 

The brothers went to Rongotai College in Wellington and the school means a lot to them and the Savea's mean a lot to the college. 

When the brothers returned to their high school, the pide came out and they spoke from the heart.

"Be yourself and never let anyone tell you who to be or what to be," Ardie Savea says. "Always listen to mum, dad and value family." 

One question mark for the Hurricanes is how Savea would react to being captain but is speech showed leadership isn't something he'll need to force this season.

Savea has learned a lot from his brother after watching the intense scrutiny he came under after leaving New Zealand for Toulon. This help drive him to become the leader he is today.

"I saw that first hand and for me that allowed me to make decisions in my life where I could put my best foot forward," he says. 

The 27-year-old will make his captaincy debut in the Hurricanes season opener on Saturday, which will also mark his 100th game for the Wellington side. 

Coach Jason Holland knows it won't take long for him to adjust to, the added pressure and extra demands being cpatain brings. 

"He's just doing what he's always done," Holland says. "I've said before, he leads with his actions."  

His actions have spoken the loudest in the past few years at the Hurricanes but it's his teammates who Holland wants to see step up alongside him, particularly in the absence of TJ Perenara.

"There's a little bit more voice needed at times and we've got some experienced guys in our senior group," he says. "So we need the Ngani Laumape and the Jordie Barrett's to step up a bit now."

Savea and his side will get their first opportunity on Saturday to prove they can. 

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