All Black Ardie Savea’s rugby story turned into book

The world’s best rugby player Ardie Savea is releasing a children’s book just in time for Christmas.

The All Blacks loose forward explained that his book will be a way to inspire the young generation while encouraging the spirit of helping others during the holiday season.

“With hard work and determination they can achieve anything — just like I did,” he said.

Savea teamed up with One NZ’s One Good Kiwi, an initiative that gives $100,000 monthly to charities around the country. Together they drew on Savea’s personal experience from his younger days. The story takes readers on a journey through the challenges of attending his rugby practices and games.

“My brother Julz and I were blessed to be quite talented at rugby from a young age and some games were out in Porirua or the Hutt.

“Mum and Dad worked very very hard. Travel-wise there were some days we couldn’t get to practices or games. We didn’t have a taavale or car. We relied on family, and friends to catch rides.”

A One Good Kiwi Story: Ardie Savea is a tribute to his childhood goals and the unwavering support of family and friends who helped him achieve them.

Four months in the making, the book was authored by One NZ team member Jono Houzet after several Zoom chats with the rugby great — even when he was in France playing in the Rugby World Cup.

This is Houzet’s first children’s book.

“I was incredibly nervous, to be honest, but super, super excited,” he said.

Houzet was also excited to work alongside one of his favourite rugby stars.

“I’m so proud, buzzed, to work with Ardie, too. I think I took too many photos with him to show my friends and my family but it was such a privilege. Ardie’s super down to earth.”

Savea, an ambassador for One Good Kiwi, was recently named the men’s rugby World Player of the Year at an awards ceremony in Paris, a day after the All Blacks went down to South Africa in the World Cup final.

The book is now available to purchase at any One NZ store for $20.

All proceeds from the book will go to Kiwi Christmas Books, a charitable initiative committed to providing brand-new books to families who can’t afford to buy Christmas presents for their kids, or who struggle to access books in general.

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