Dagg backs Savea to return

Full-back Israel Dagg has warned New Zealand's rivals that Julian Savea will come back a better player after being dropped from the squad.

Savea was axed from the matchday 23 after a quiet opening Test against Wales, with Dagg coming into the XV and Ben Smith moving to wing.

Dagg is deserving of his recall to the side after playing some exceptional rugby for the Crusaders and he will hope to remain in the starting XV.

But when asked about the player he replaced, Savea, Dagg believes that the Hurricanes winger will bounce back after his initial disappointment.

"There's a rule in this team. You can sulk for a minute and then you've got to get over it," he told AAP ahead of Saturday's game in Wellington.

"I know, deep down, Julian will be hurting. I have felt it and it's not a nice thing, but it makes you hungrier and makes you stronger."