All Black Ardie Savea has revealed the simple tactic Kieran Read used as captain to win over the All Blacks dressing room.
The 44-test Hurricanes star disclosed why Read was such a good captain in an interview with former Warrior Isaac John on the Ice Project podcast.
"Kieran Read is the man," Savea said. "He grew up in South Auckland. He's a good leader, one of the top captains out there.
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"I'm big on connections. In a team environment culture has to be number one. Your relationships with players and getting to know them outside of the game has to be number one, because if you've got that, on the field takes care of itself.
"And he (Read) was big on that. He would sit down and say 'how is Saskia (wife) and Kobe (son)'. And I didn't tell him about them. But once he made that effort with the boys, they were all like 'let's go'."
Savea also criticised the way brother Julian was treated last year by the media.
"He went through some stuff, came back after the World Cup and was getting called fat," Savea said. "And there's a line. Stating facts is facts but saying he's fat, and some of the reporting going on ... they just don't know. It's kind of turned into being first is more important than telling the truth, or being right.
"I think there's a long way to go in terms of bridging the gap between players and fans and I see that as the content stuff. I'm a big believer that athletes need to think of themselves as a business. Build their personal brand, think of themselves as a business. Players in the game can now start representing themselves instead of needing a middle man."
Savea also said the chance to represent Samoa was a big reason why he was looking at a change in code
"This might blow up. I thought of rugby league. I thought of giving that a crack or trying to give it a crack. But a massive one for me that I would love to do is play for Samoa," he said on the podcast.
"A big part of why I wanted to go to league was because I could play for Samoa because of the rules. So that's been a thing that's pondered my mind.
"[I've] Been following hard out on the World Rugby rules and that stuff. For me it's how proud the Samoan people are and I know how much Samoans give to rugby internationally … my old man's face if he knew that I was going to play [for Samoa]."
Savea, who was one of the standout All Blacks during last year's Rugby World Cup in Japan, is still recovering from a serious knee injury sustained in the semifinal defeat to England.
Asked by John if he was considering a move to the NRL, Savea said he was "low-key thinking about it for next year".
"100 per cent I want to play rugby league, I think they do a lot more in terms of off the field stuff ... and also, just a new challenge. I want to test myself," Savea said.
"Learning a whole new game and seeing if I can dominate or play the way I play in union, if I can do that in league, excites me. Seeing guys like Sonny [Bill Williams, former All Blacks teammate] do it and how that's benefited him that kind of pondered my mind."
Williams has just completed a return to league with the Toronto Wolfpack, after 10 years playing union, in a deal reportedly worth $10 million.
Savea wouldn't be joining the Warriors, though.
"Strategically I would go to a team that's good ... that's dominating, like the [Melbourne] Storm or the [Sydney] Roosters," Savea said.