Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 29 November 2020

Sam Cane ready for 'exciting challenge' after being named All Blacks captain

The announcement came despite the fact the coronavirus pandemic means there is unlikely to be any international rugby in the near future

Sam has already captained New Zealand three times in the past, having first done so aged 23 at the 2015 World Cup against Namibia. AFP
Sam has already captained New Zealand three times in the past, having first done so aged 23 at the 2015 World Cup against Namibia. AFP

Sam Cane has been named as the new captain of New Zealand, after the international retirement of Kieran Read.

The announcement came despite the fact the coronavirus pandemic means there is unlikely to be any international rugby in the near future.

Ian Foster, the All Blacks head coach, said Cane has an important role to play, even in the absence of matches.

“We wanted to confirm Sam now because he'll play a key role helping us plan for whatever the future looks like, and will be working behind the scenes with the other leaders,” Foster said.

Read stepped away from the All Blacks after the 2019 World Cup in Japan, with his back-row colleague Cane now instilled as his successor.

“Sam is an experienced All Black with eight years in the team now, and is a 'follow me' type of leader, and a very good thinker in the game,” Foster said.

“He has a natural ability to connect with everyone in the team, and is straightforward and direct when he needs to be.

“There's massive respect for Sam among the players and management, and he's perfectly placed to lead the All Blacks into the future.”

Cane, 28, has already captained New Zealand three times in the past, having first done so aged 23 at the 2015 World Cup against Namibia.

“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,” Cane said.

“The great thing about the All Blacks is that the leadership group is full of captains and experienced players already, so I'm just really looking forward to working closely with that group and doing my best to lead them and the rest of the squad.”

Updated: May 5, 2020 01:43 PM

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