Tri Nations: All Blacks captain Sam Cane sends blunt message to 'brutal' fans

All Blacks captain Sam Cane is brushing off criticism of his leadership from pundits and fans, claiming their opinions don't matter.

Following a first-ever test loss against Argentina, the knives have been out for Cane and coach Ian Foster, with some media outlets calling for the latter to be sacked after just five games in charge. 

But for Cane, the outside noise is insignificant.

The 29-year-old tells Sky Sports The Breakdown, the only opinions that matter to him are those within the group.

"To me, if I am having my leadership questioned in the public, the people’s opinions that really matter to me are my teammates and my coaches, who I work with every single day," Cane says.

"I’ve got a lot of confidence from them that we’re on the right track. We understand being in this role comes with a lot of pressure and a lot of public scrutiny, so it’s not like it’s a shock."

Cane acknowledges the incredible support the All Blacks receive from their fanbase, aside from a select few that he labels "brutal". 

"I think we’ve got amazing fans, but we’ve also got some pretty brutal ones. With that, you’ve just got to remind yourself that, 'hey, they might like to think they know a lot about the game of rugby, but in reality they don’t'.

"They may know the game from what they see in the 80 minutes, but they don't see the stuff that goes on behind the scenes."

Back-to-back losses and just two wins from five games has led to a lot of internal frustration within the All Blacks camp - a feeling felt across the entire rugby-mad country. 

But Cane says some criticism of players and coaching staff has got personal, and that hasn't helped matters.

"For us as a team, it certainly doesn't help if we're spending our time online reading hateful, disrespectful comments."

Cane and his All Blacks squad will have to wait for a shot to temporarily mute the doubters.

Australia play the Pumas this weekend, before New Zealand's final game of the campaign against the South American giant-killers the following weekend.

Join us on November 28 for live updates of the All Blacks v Argentina Tri Nations clash