Chiefs loose forward and skipper Sam Cane has been named as Kieran Read’s successor to lead the All Blacks as captain.
The announcement was made on Sky Sports New Zealand’s The Breakdown show, with Cane taking over from Read – who announced his retirement from Test rugby after the 2019 World Cup.
The 28-year-old Cane has played 68 Tests – starting 48 times – since making his All Blacks debut against Ireland back in 2012 when he was just 20 years old. He has already led the All Blacks on three occasions, becoming the fifth-youngest captain when he wore the armband in the 2015 World Cup against Namiba at the age of 23.
All Blacks head coach Ian Foster said he was delighted to be able to name Cane as the new skipper.
‘Sam is an experienced All Black with eight years in the team now and is a follow-me type of leader and a very good thinker in the game. He has a natural ability to connect with everyone in the team and is straightforward and direct when he needs to be.
‘There’s a massive respect for Sam among the players and management and he is perfectly placed to lead the All Blacks into the future.’
Foster added that while the All Blacks’ plans for this year were still being worked through after the Covid-19 halted the global calendar, there was still an important role for the captain.
‘We wanted to confirm Sam now because he will play a key role helping us plan for whatever the future looks like and will be working behind the scenes with the other leaders,’ Foster said.’
Cane said it was a ‘massive honour’ to be given the captaincy.
‘The great thing about the All Blacks is that the leadership group is full of captains and experienced players already, so I am just really looking forward to working closely with that group and doing my best to lead them and the rest of the squad,’ Cane said.
‘My style as captain will not be to not really change the way I do things. I’m just myself and will continue to be. I already work on building relationships, especially with the younger guys in the squad and everyone else connected with the team, so that will continue.
‘While we don’t know yet what the rest of the year looks like for the All Blacks, I am looking forward to catching up with the coaches and other senior players as we firm up our plans.’
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