Rugby: Sam Cane named new All Blacks captain

Sam Cane.
Sam Cane. Photo credit: Photosport

Flanker Sam Cane has been appointed new All Blacks captain.

The 28-year-old will take over from Kieran Read, who retired after the 2019 Rugby World Cup, combining with new head coach Ian Foster to complete a changing of the guard.

The 68-test international and Chiefs captain had been widely considered a frontrunner for the role, alongside fellow forward Sam Whitelock.

Cane says it's a "massive honour" to receive the title.

"It's a pretty exciting challenge, really," Cane says. "And as I've spent more time in the All Blacks and grown as a player, I've become a lot more comfortable being a leader in the team.

"The great thing about the All Blacks is that the leadership group is full of captains and experienced players already, so I'm just really looking forward to working closely with that group, and doing my best to lead them and the rest of the squad."

Cane has made 48 starts since his 2012 debut against Ireland at the age of 20.

He's already captained the All Blacks on three occasions - against Namibia at the 2015 World Rugby Cup, Italy in 2016 and Argentina in Buenos Aires last year.

"My style as captain will 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."

Cane has revealed that Foster approached him at the start of the year to propose the role and he didn't take much convincing to accept. 

"He said, 'no pressure, you've got a week to think about it and I'll give you another call'," Cane told Sky Sport's The Breakdown.

"To be honest, within about an hour of him leaving, I was pretty ecstatic that he wanted me to take on that role.

"After talking to my wife Harriet and mum and dad, it became pretty clear that that's what I wanted to do and I'm confident I can do that job."

Foster says he's delighted to name Cane as the new captain.

"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," Foster says.

"He has a natural ability to connect with everyone in the team, and is straightforward and direct when he needs to be.

"There's massive respect for Sam amongst the players and management, and he's perfectly placed to lead the All Blacks into the future."

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