Sam Cane has succeeded Kieran Read as New Zealand captain, the All Blacks announced on Tuesday.
The loose forward, 28, made his debut against Ireland in 2012 and has gone on to represent his country on 68 occasions, with 48 of those appearances as a starter.
Cane, who has already captained New Zealand three times, was a Rugby World Cup winner in 2015 and part of the team that finished third in Japan last year.
“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.
“My style as captain will be to not really change the way I do things. I’m just myself and will continue to be. I already work on building relationships, especially with the younger guys in the squad, and everyone else connected with the team, so that will continue.
“While we don’t know yet what the rest of the year looks like for the All Blacks, I’m looking forward to catching up with the coaches and other senior players as we firm up our plans.”
Hello skipper. @SamCane7
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) May 5, 2020
Read retired from international rugby after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
New All Blacks coach Ian Foster said Cane, who has made 116 appearances for the Chiefs and won two Super Rugby titles, is a natural leader and has an important part to play amid uncertain times in global sport as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“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 amongst the players and management, and he’s perfectly placed to lead the All Blacks into the future.
“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.”
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