Savea, Vito to play key roles

Date published: June 24 2015

Hurricanes boss Chris Boyd believes back-row duo Victor Vito and Ardie Savea will play key roles in Saturday's semi-final with the Brumbies.

Boyd feels Vito and Savea's performances could boost their Test aspirations and thinks Savea is one of the unluckiest players to miss out on a call-up to the All Blacks' 41-man squad announced on Sunday.

He expects Savea to respond with a fine display against Wallaby openside flanker David Pocock in Saturday's encounter in Wellington.

Boyd believes his 21-year-old tearaway will be a solid replacement if All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, Sam Cane or Matt Todd should be struck down by injury. 

"I think Ardie's been particularly good for us this year. I don't have any doubt his time will come." Boyd told AAP.

"The other guys are a good crop of openside flankers as well so he just has to suck it up and get on with it."

Vito was picked in the All Blacks squad and is involved in a battle with Liam Messam to win a World Cup spot.

Boyd believes the 28-year-old is proving his detractors wrong who have in the past bemoaned his lack of physical presence.

"The nice thing from Victor is that he's often been branded as not tough enough," added Boyd.

"Well, he's got the highest dominant tackle rate of anyone in Super Rugby this year. In the defensive area, he's stiffened up really well."