Super Rugby Aotearoa 2021: Sam Cane considered conceding Chiefs captaincy

Sam Cane will lead the Chiefs alongside new co-captain Brad Weber in their season-opener against the Highlanders on Friday to begin a season of redemption.

The hard-nosed Cane personifies what it means to be a Chief, but after a tumultuous 2020 where his side couldn't manage a win in Super Rugby Aotearoa, combined with a bruising first season as All Blacks captain, he was left questioning whether he should lead the Chiefs again in 2021.

"[Coach] Clayton [McMillan] and I had the discussion,mainly led by him," Cane tells Newshub.

"But I'd thought about [giving up the captaincy] in that two weeks managed isolation. Plenty of things to think about."

But the more Cane thought, the more he realised leading the Chiefs was not only something he was passionate about, but something he wanted to continue with.

Cane says he didn't want to come into the All Blacks cold, and felt he was better served carrying the momentum of captaincy from Super Rugby into the international season.

"I didn't want to not have the leadership responsibility during Super Rugby and then have to pick it up later in the year with the All Blacks," Cane explains. 

"I'd much prefer that that becomes my new normal."

Leadership is nothing new to Cane, but he admits he's learned the way that looks with the Chiefs is different to the All Blacks.

"At All Blacks level, you've got so many great leaders around you it's about utilising as many as you can," he says. 

"I'm not saying we don't have that at the Chiefs, but often with some of the younger guys it's about helping them step up and encouraging them to lead as well."

He's also hoping that, after a winless 2020, may help turn their fortunes around.

"It lingers a little bit, but at the same time, there's no point dwelling on that," he says.

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