Sam Cane named as new All Blacks captain

Ruben Hill
May 5, 2020

All Blacks boss Ian Foster has named flanker Sam Cane the man to succeed Kieran Read as New Zealand captain following his global retirement.

Cane has played 68 tests for the All Blacks, three as captain.

"There's massive respect for Sam amongst the players and management", said new head coach Ian Foster.

It is the first significant act from new coach Foster, who had given no indication that he was considering his leadership options, particularly with the coronavirus pandemic having halted the sport and leaving a question mark over when the All Blacks will play again.

"It's a pretty exciting challenge really and as I've spent more time in the All Blacks and grown as a player, I've become a lot more comfortable being a leader in the team", said Cane.

28-year-old Cane, who made his worldwide debut back 2012, has accumulated 68 caps for the national side and first took over the match-day captaincy against Namibia at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Tellingly, Cane's appointment suggests that the openside flanker will be reinstated as a first-choice starter for the All Blacks after he was relegated to the bench for New Zealand's semi-final showdown with England at last year's World Cup - although that may well have just been a "horses for courses" approach from the selectors. He has a natural ability to connect with everyone in the team and is straightforward and direct when he needs to be.

New Zealand has produced some great No. 7s, among them McCaw and Michael Jones, and has routinely had a No. 7 as captain, but Cane is not of that quality yet, and is a quiet and unassuming player.

Cane said it was a "massive honour" to be given the captaincy. He became the 67th Test captain and fifth youngest ever when he captained the team against Namibia at RWC2015 at the age of 23.

The Rotorua native also captained the team against Italy in 2016 and against Argentina in Buenos Aires a year ago.

'My style as captain will not be to not really change the way I do things.

Whether the All Blacks play any rugby this season could depend on whether a "trans-Tasman travel" bubble is created, as both the Australian and New Zealand Governments have discussed, as all other worldwide travel appears to be uncertain amid the COVID-19 pandemic. I'm just myself and will continue to be.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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