Rugby: New coach Scott Robertson reveals timeline for announcing All Blacks captain

New coach Scott Robertson has outlined the process for finalising the All Blacks captain, but don't expect a decision any time soon.

Heading into the 2024 season, the national coaching set-up has undergone its biggest change since Sir Graham Henry succeeded John Mitchell in 2003.

With Robertson already making his mark in confirming his staff, the role of captain may also change. Sam Cane was captain under predecessor Ian Foster, but may face a battle with the likes of Dalton Papali'i for the starting No.7 spot.

With Cane currently on sabbatical in Japan, along with Ardie Savea and Beauden Barrett, this coming Super Rugby Pacific season will give players the chance to show their wares as leaders at franchise level.

A 22-strong All Blacks squad have assembled at Auckland, bringing together players who attended last year's World Cup, but asked who will captain the All Blacks when they open their 2024 campaign against England, Robertson has kept his cards close to his chest.

"I'll name the captain as we come into the [England] series, when we name the squad," he said. "I've got to get in front of a few people, have conversations, catch a few eyes, get on the odd knee and have some chats.

"It's important we do that for all options."

The All Blacks have no shortage of leaders within their ranks. Savea has been a more than capable deputy for Cane, notably at last year's World Cup in France.

Freshly re-signed with the national union, Barrett is a longstanding member of the All Blacks leadership group, while younger brother Scott has captaincy experience under Robertson with the Crusaders at Super Rugby level.

Codie Taylor is another to have filled in as Crusaders captain, leading Robertson's side to the Super Rugby Aotearoa title in 2021. Papali'i has captained the Blues for the past two seasons.

Meanwhile, Luke Jacobson has led the Chiefs with other captains unavailable, but would be considered an outside chance at best to take on the All Blacks role.