All Blacks loose-forward and Chiefs Captain Sam Cane has been named as the new Captain of the All Blacks during the SKY Sport's The Breakdown show. Cane succeeds Kieran Read who retired from the All Blacks after the disappointing Rugby World Cup 2019.
28-year-old Cane has played 68 Tests, including 48 starts, since making his debut against Ireland in 2012, aged just 20.
All Blacks Head Coach Ian Foster said he was delighted to name Cane as the new captain.
"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. 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," Foster said.
“We have some great leaders in our team and guys like Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock would be great captains, but it was about which person suited it. Sam’s got the respect of the training shed. He works hard, he walks the talk, he’s a straight shooter and he likes to think a lot about the game. He can annoy you at times, he comes and asks a lot of questions, but he challenges us, and I think that’s exactly what we want out of an All Blacks captain.”
The reason for the timing of last night’s (NZT) announcement, is to give Cane the chance to influence and build relationships behind the scenes ahead of any All Blacks matches that may be played this year.
Foster said Cane will have a strong leadership group around him, with the likes of Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara and Aaron Smith. He’s also learnt from some of the best in Richie McCaw and Kieran Read.
“He came into the leadership group in 2013 when he was young. We saw he had leadership qualities and he had Richie McCaw there to look at how he led, and then he sat alongside Kieran Read. He played next to him and followed his leadership for four years. He’s had some great mentors and he’s won a World Cup and he’s lost a World Cup. They are good qualifications too, as it means he has a bit of balance on both sides of the ledger.”