Grant Fox: Savea is just trying too hard

Julian Savea of the All Blacks looks on during the International Test match between the All Blacks and Wales. Photo / Getty
Julian Savea of the All Blacks looks on during the International Test match between the All Blacks and Wales. Photo / Getty

All Blacks selector Grant Fox believes the out-of-form Julian Savea is having trouble on the pitch because he's feeling too much pressure.

Speaking to Tony Veitch on Newstalk ZB, Fox said the winger had struggled to find the form he had in 2015 and wasn't as relaxed as he should be.

"I could see it last night," Fox said. "He's trying so desperately hard to do well, it's almost like he's trying too hard.

"He's not relaxing and trusting himself, and just going out and having fun.

"He's sort of playing like a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders."

However, Fox also said that while Savea had been struggling, he believed the Hurricanes winger would bounce back eventually and that this is only one rough period in his career.

In contrast, Fox had nothing but praise for first-five starter Beauden Barrett and centre George Moala.

He believed that Barrett's always had the potential to be an All Blacks starter, and his performance last night was of no surprise.

"We're just seeing the maturing of a player," Fox said.

"I mean, he's world class at what he does, there's no doubt, and he was outstanding last night."

Similarly, Fox said that George Moala had shown real promise during the All Blacks camp and he can be proud of what he did last night.

- NZ Herald

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