Super Rugby Pacific: Chiefs dad-to-be Sam Cane 'pretty confident' of availability against Brumbies

  • 05/05/2022

Chiefs skipper Sam Cane is confident the imminent birth of his first child won't prevent him taking the field for the Super Rugby Pacific clash with the Brumbies on Saturday.

After missing the win over the Reds last weekend to return home and be with his family, the All Blacks No. 7 has been named to return to the run-on side against the surging Australians at FMG Stadium.

Wife Harriet was due to give birth on Tuesday, meaning she'll be four days overdue by the time Cane takes the field.

But the 30-year-old is comfortable playing the odds that even if she's to go into labour around kick-off, he'll have plenty of time to be on hand for the critical stages of the birth.

"They don't come out on the due date normally - I could told that five percent do, so all is looking good to be playing this Saturday," said Cane. "It would have to be something pretty drastic to happen.

"Last week I was getting a bit frustrated, and then sort of just decided it will come when it will come. And hopefully that could be tonight, or tomorrow morning, who knows."

In fact, no formal measures have been taken for any form of emergency line to the Chiefs brass,  should the process kick into action around game time.

"The only thing we've been told is that births don't happen within a couple of hours, so I think we'll know before kickoff what I'm doing. I'm pretty confident I'll be out there."

Sam Cane in action against the Waratahs.
Sam Cane in action against the Waratahs. Photo credit: Photosport

Kaylum Boshier has been bracketed as his replacement.

Being back at home obviously makes the situation a lot easier to manage, and Cane said the support of his teammates and head coach Clayton McMillan has eased any unwarranted additional stress around the situation.

"It's really reassuring from a player's point of view to have such a vote of confidence from the boss around what's the priority and where you can lay the majority of your focus when it's needed," he noted.

"It's actually been a good week. I feel in control and what will happen will happen. Glass half full."

The Chiefs went through a similar situation with back Emoni Narawa, whose child was born on the morning of the clash with the Blues.

"He's a new dad as well and for the first time dads, they probably don't realise how big a job that is until the baby actually arrives," said McMillan. "Emoni found that out and Sam will find that out soon.

"Our philosophy is family always comes first."

Turning their attention to the challenge at hand, McMillan says he's satisfied with where his team is positioned, after banking nine competition points from their two-game salvo across the Tasman. Three straight wins have pushed the Chiefs up to fourth in the overall standings.

They'll face a stern litmus test against the Brumbies, who are riding the high of two consecutive wins over NZ teams the past weekends, having toppled the Highlanders and the Hurricanes.

Perhaps the most intriguing subplot will be the battle at scrumtime, where two of the best packs at setpiece will square off. 

In the wake of the win over the Reds, McMillan boldly stated his team's scrum set the standard for the competition - a claim he still firmly stands behind.

"We got a bit of flack for that during the week, but I think our scrum has been fairly dominant for the best part of the last two seasons," said McMillan. "We've learned some lessons and we've grown and it's become an area of strength.

"Our internal trainings are often as competitive or more competitive than what we encounter on the weekend. That's great for us but it doesn't guarantee you dominance on the weekend, you still have to go out and earn that.

"Being two from two against two of the top Aussie teams, looking back now, it's a good outcome and we look forward to taking on the Brumbies in our own backyard.

"We'll find out a bit about ourselves and a bit about where they're at too."

Join us at 7pm, Saturday for live updates of Chiefs v Brumbies