Super Rugby 2021: Brad Weber joins Sam Cane as Chiefs co-captain

All Blacks halfback Brad Weber can't wait to test-drive one particular new rule in his new capacity as Chiefs co-captain for Super Rugby Aotearoa 2021.

Weber will combine international teammate and skipper Sam Cane as joint leaders of the Hamilton-based outfit.

But the pint-sized pivot already eagerly anticipates his ability to officially question referees under the new captain's challenge - no doubt something the cheeky No.9 has done throughout his career in an unofficial capacity.

"I'd nearly challenge everything," he quips. "No, I wouldn't."

Weber had a chance to trial his new responsibilities during the Chiefs' 'game of three halves' pre-season encounter with the Blues and Crusaders at Cambridge on Saturday, but never got to pull the trigger.

"They had it on the weekend," he says. "I said to [referee] Ben O'Keeffe afterwards, I would love to have challenged something, but all his calls were pretty accurate, I thought, so I didn't have a reason too."

Neither Weber nor Cane anticipate they'll use their new powers that often.

"I don't expect it to be used every single game," says Cane. "Maybe in the last five minutes, when it can be called on for anything.

"There's the odd time when there's something clearly not quite right and you've seen a different picture, but that doesn't happen every single game."

A fixture with the Hamilton-based side since 2014, Weber, 30, has led the side as a stand-in on several occasions, but will now officially wear the armband in tandem with Cane.

"I'm incredibly honoured to be asked to co-captain the Chiefs, a team that means the world to me," says Weber. 

"I don't take this responsibility for granted and I look forward to leading this exciting group of players with Sam this year.

"It's particularly special for me to co-captain alongside Sam, a man I have a huge amount of respect for in the way he plays, but especially in the way he leads.

"I can't wait to get stuck into the season with him and the  rest of the lads." 

Cane, 29, has captained the team since 2016, in partnerships with Aaron Cruden, Charlie Ngatai, and Brodie Retallick.

He's looking forward to working in concert with Weber at the helm.

"Webby has a massive amount of respect from the group," says Cane. "He consistently leads on and off the field for us, so the co-captaincy role is a natural fit for him and I am really looking forward to working alongside him in leading this exciting squad."

Cane and coach Clayton McMillan discussed the All Blacks skipper stepping aside from his Super Rugby role.

"At the end of the day, it was a role that I enjoyed and wanted to keep doing," says Cane. "It gives me a chance to stay sharp with my leadership skills and get used to the responsibilities of being a captain full-time."

The Chiefs kick off their 2021 campaign against the Highlanders in Hamilton on March 5.

Join us for live updates of Super Rugby Aotearoa 2021, starting Friday with the Crusaders v Highlanders