By making himself available for the Pacific Islanders, Tasesa Lavea has given up on an All Black jersey.
Lavea, who copped a lot of flak for his poor performances during the Vodacom Super 14, said his desire to play Test rugby had forced him to make the decision.
“I haven’t played Test rugby, and I’m 26 now,” the Samoan told xtramsn’s Marc Hinton, a day after being named in the touring Pacific Islanders squad to head north in November. “It’s just an opportunity for me to get out there, and it’s been nice to be named in the Islanders team.
“I want to take my career in my own hands rather than rely on decisions by other people. I’ve been a pro footballer since I was 18, I’ve been in the game for a while. I just want to take my opportunities when they come up.
“I spoke to a lot of people about the pros and cons, and I got a lot of support from friends and family. That helped me make my mind up.”
Lavea confirmed he hadn’t sought the feedback of the All Black selectors.
“I was sort of more realistic about that,” he shrugged. “I didn’t know where I was fitting in the frame, but obviously they’ve still got a lot of great players in there. I’m sure my decision is not a big loss for them.”