Hurricanes and New Zealand back-row Ardie Savea has spoken of his desire to play in the NRL and could switch codes as early as next year.
The 26-year-old is sidelined with a knee injury after undergoing surgery.
Savea, capped 44 times by the All Blacks, is contracted to New Zealand Rugby until the end of 2021 and pulled out of a deal to join Top 14 side Pau after the Rugby World Cup last year.
The flanker says a switch to rugby league was on his mind before he was injured during the World Cup.
Asked if he wants to play in the 13-a-side format, he told the Ice Project podcast: “100 per cent.
“I just think they [the players] do a lot more in terms of off the field stuff than New Zealand. And also, just a new challenge. I want to test myself.
“Learning a whole new game and seeing if I can dominate or play the way I play in union and if I can do that in league. That excites me.
“Seeing guys like Sonny [Bill Willians] do it and the way that has benefited him. It kind of plays on my mind a bit.
“It sucks that I got this injury because I was low key thinking about it [a code switch] for next year.”
Savea has already given some thought to which team he would fancy joining.
“Strategically I would want to go to a team that was good or dominating, like the Melbourne Storm or the [Sydney] Roosters.” he added.
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