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Savea tops Super Rugby list that still includes Bok wing

SPOTLIGHT: The 33-year-old Julian Savea is now the undisputed try-scoring king of the Super Rugby – a list that still includes Springbok wing Bryan Habana.

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Savea recorded his 61st career try during Moana Pasifika‚Äôs match against the Rebels at the weekend, six more than South Africa’s Bryan Habana.

Habana is the only South African still among the top 10 try scorers in Super Rugby history – with his 56 tries, a feat he shares with Ma’a Nonu, Christian Cullen and Stirling Mortlock.

The Springbok wing retired from the game at the end of his French Top 14 club Toulon’s season in 2018.

Part of Super Rugby from 1996, South African sides were a vital and mainstay part of the competition that brought the Southern Hemisphere’s nations together.

On three occasions, the Pretoria-based Bulls won the competition, while South African sides finished runners-up on eight occasions – with the Sharks (four times), Stormers (once) and Lions (three times) all reaching the Final.

When COVID-19 struck in 2020, New Zealand decided that its sides would go it alone, forming Super Rugby Aotearoa as a domestic-only competition.

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Despite the reunification with Australia for Super Rugby Trans-Tasman in 2021 and Super Rugby Pacific the following year, South African franchises never returned.

Savea spent most of his career on the wing for the Hurricanes and the All Blacks, and has since ventured inwards to the centres, choosing to rely on his ball-carrying talents rather than his out-and-out pace.

The All Black surpassed Australia’s Israel Folau as his Moana Pasifika side crashed 23-29 to the Rebels.

Savea made his Hurricanes debut in 2011 and has played 150 games for the side in two stints, 2011-2018 and 2021-23, broken by time with Toulon in France. He was part of the Super Rugby championship-winning side of 2016.

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Folau scored 60 tries in 96 games for the Waratahs between 2013-19 and was part of the 2014 Super Rugby championship-winning team.

Before them, the highest try scorer was Doug Howlett, who scored 59 times, 55 of his tries coming in 97 games for the Blues between 1999-2007, three in two games for the Highlanders in 1997 and one in five games for the Hurricanes in 1998.

The top 10 try scorers in Super Rugby are:

Savea tops Super Rugby list that still includes Bok wing

 

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