Sacrilege or a fair call? All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says winger Julian Savea is a better player than legendary number 11 Jonah Lomu.
Speaking ahead of Sunday's final Rugby Championship test against South Africa in Johannesburg, Hansen said Savea has more to his game than Lomu did - regarded by Herald rugby writer Wynne Gray as the greatest All Black ever.
"I think he's probably better," Hansen said overnight. "He can do more things than Jonah. Jonah was a great player but I think Julian has got more to his game than Jonah.
"That's really saying something but I genuinely believe that. He's very good going back. He's very good under the high ball. He's very good over the ball on the ground as well as being a great ball carrier."
Savea has scored 27 tries in 27 tests for the All Blacks - having lost just once in the black jersey. Lomu finished his eight-year long career with 37 tries from 63 matches.
Wynne Gray on Lomu:
"Those of us fortunate enough to watch Jonah Lomu detonate into action at the 1995 World Cup will never forget his impact on the grounds of South Africa."
Jonah Lomu v Julian Savea
- Made his test debut at 19 years, 45 days v France in Christchurch in 1994. Still the youngest All Black to play a test match
- Played for the national sevens side and various New Zealand age-group teams
- Stands 1.96m and weighed 119kg during his playing days
- After his first 27 tests, had scored 16 tries and had played in one World Cup
- Scored four tries against England in the 1995 World Cup semifinal in only his sixth test
- Never scored a try against South Africa in 12 appearances during his 63-test career
- Made his test debut at 21 years, 307 days v Ireland at Eden Park in 2012. Scored a hat-trick on debut
- Also played for the national sevens side and New Zealand age-group teams
- Listed at 1.92m, 107kg.
- After 27 tests has scored 27 tries, including two hat-tricks
- Is yet to score a test try against South Africa. Has played against them four times
Who is the better player? Lomu or Savea? Have your say below.