commitments appears to have blindsided New Zealand Rugby.

The national body admit they are now on tenterhooks regarding the other Super Rugby players who have agreed to rejoin Gordon Tietjens' sevens squad.

Savea's decision was announced yesterday but he apparently made up his mind some time ago and revealed his decision to Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd following his team's win over the Rebels in Melbourne on April 15.

Blues brothers Rieko and Akira Ioane have confirmed they will return to sevens for the final two tournaments of the year - starting with Paris on May 13 and concluding in London a week later - before travelling to Rio in the hope of winning Olympic gold.


Liam Messam, Augustine Pulu and Sonny Bill Williams are three other Super Rugby players who have committed to sevens this year, and Neil Sorensen, New Zealand Rugby's manager of the professional game, admitted another change of mind would leave Tietjens and his squad even more compromised.

"Absolutely, the last thing we need is a phone call from a Rieko Ioane or someone saying 'things are going well for me in Super and I've changed my mind'," said Sorensen, who added there had been no input from All Blacks coach Steve Hansen over Savea's decision.

"I have got it on good authority that the All Blacks rate Ardie Savea incredibly highly but they knew they had lost him to sevens - for June anyway - and they backed that, they were right behind it. I can tell you that our All Black guys certainly didn't put any pressure on our guys to pull the pin."

Nineteen-year-old Rieko Ioane has been brilliant in Tana Umaga's backline in his first year at this level and will play his final game for the Blues on Saturday against the Rebels at Eden Park.

He confirmed last week that there will be no late change of mind, but Tietjens will probably be scared to pick up his phone following the Savea U-turn and the fact that New Zealand Rugby, who made two gold medals - men's and women's - at the Olympics a strategic goal and yet appear powerless to stop their players from refusing to go.

Sorensen said the union would learn from a process they had never experienced before - rugby hasn't been played at the Olympics since 1924 - adding that he felt his organisation was at a relatively "immature" stage as far as the global sporting event was concerned.

Players such as Savea didn't sign specific sevens contracts, merely Super Rugby ones with a verbal indication that they wanted to represent their country at the World Series and in Brazil, he said.

"We didn't consider that a few months ago, but that's something we would review," Sorensen said.

"Even if a kid pulled out in July for whatever reason, it would be incredibly disappointing, but we wouldn't make a person go to Rio who didn't want to be there.

"I could never imagine a time when we would say, 'no you can't play for the All Blacks, you have to play for the sevens', or vice versa."

Savea, 22, a loose forward who first played sevens at international level in 2012, said it was purely a personal decision to stay with the 15-man game. He said he had told Tietjens of his decision.

"I've been here with the Hurricanes for 10 weeks and I've just been loving my footy. At the moment I just want to concentrate on my 15s career."

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said Savea, who represented New Zealand in Wellington and Sydney this year, had told him making the transition from 15s to sevens and back again was more difficult than he had imagined.

"When Ardie spoke to me last week at the airport at Melbourne and said this was the way he was feeling, I was really surprised about it," Boyd said. "He's had no contact from the All Blacks management, so there's no link there."