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Hurricanes captain Ardie Savea is preparing for an “emotional” sendoff for his France-bound teammate Ngani Laumape this weekend, but the future of his own playing career remains uncertain.

Savea, the Hurricanes stalwart and key All Blacks loose forward, is off-contract with New Zealand Rugby at the end of this year and has a big decision on his hands whether to stick around or take his career elsewhere.

The 27-year-old has spoken openly in the past about a desire to test himself elsewhere, even entertaining the idea of jumping codes to the NRL.

But for now, Savea says he’s been focusing on the task at hand: leading his team in what could be their final game of the Super Rugby Transtasman season against the Reds, with a finals berth still possible but unlikely.

“Aw shucks. I’ve signed a five year contract over in Europe so… Nah I’m kidding bro,” Savea joked when asked about his future with the Hurricanes.

“I still haven’t decided what I’m doing just yet. I’ve kind of been focusing on actually getting my injury right. That was my main focus the last couple weeks. I haven’t really thought about it actually at the moment. But I should do. Wait and see.

“Being a leader of this team, and one of the leaders, is that you just want to stay in the moment and stay present. I think for me, my mindset has been actually trying to get the boys ready for this week. I haven’t really thought about that too far ahead. Probably after this week and next week, I’ll start to think about that stuff. At the moment I haven’t been thinking about that at all.”

Savea said the All Blacks jersey remains a big factor in his decision, but he will ultimately be guided by a higher power.

“To be the world’s best, you’ve got to play against the world’s best. And that can only happen on the international stage.

“The All Blacks and the jersey has always been something that’s really special to myself and many other players around the world.

“I love to play there but you never know where the holy spirit takes me and God takes me. I’m just living in the moment, living in the present, and wherever the spirit takes me I’ll go there.”

One player that will be departing the Hurricanes is Laumape, a close friend of and long-time teammate of Savea, who has signed a three-year deal with French club Stade Francais.

Savea paid tribute to the storming midfielder and hopes for a fitting farewell in his final match in front of the Wellington home crowd.

“He’s been amazing. I still remember the first phone call when he called me when he was at the Warriors. He asked me ‘how would I do in union’ and I told him he could be one of the greats. For him to come into union and to come into a high level team in Super Rugby and to be where he is now, I think it’s a testament to himself and his family.

“It’s going to be pretty emotional. I’ve formed a real strong bond with Ngans outside of the field. So I’m just excited for him to go out there for his last run at home and just to have fun and be free. He’s done amazing things for us in this jersey. But mainly not [just] on the field, but I think he’s done so much more for players off the field, which is a testament to him.”

Savea isn’t the only big name player yet to commit to the Hurricanes, with Jordie Barrett also out of contract at the end of this year.

Regardless of what the future holds in what could be a new-look team beyond 2021, Savea says he’ll relish one more opportunity to play and be with the tight-knit group.

“We all know deep down inside, it’s going to be the last time that this group are together. And that’s kind of a goosebumpy feel.

“We don’t know who’s staying or who’s going apart from Ngans. But hopefully afterwards and when the season’s done and when we have our after match function, we’re able to celebrate those guys in the right way and honour them.”

Whether Savea will be one of them remains to be seen.

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