New Zealand loose forward and Chiefs captain Sam Cane has been named as the new captain of the All Blacks.
Twenty-eight year-old Cane, who has played 68 Tests, including 48 starts, since making his debut against Ireland in Christchurch in 2012, succeeds Kieran Read who retired after Rugby World Cup 2019.
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.”
The new appointee described it as “massive honour” to be given the captaincy:
“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. 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.”
The Rotorua-native (All Black Number 1113) has already captained the All Blacks on three occasions, having become the 67th Test captain and fifth youngest ever when he captained the team against Namibia at RWC2015 at the age of 23. He also captained the team against Italy in 2016 and against Argentina in Buenos Aires last year.
Sam Cane made his provincial debut for Bay of Plenty in 2010 at just 18 years old and his Super Rugby debut for the Chiefs the following year. In 2011, he was part of the Junior World Championship-winning New Zealand Under 20 side, was the New Zealand Rugby Age Grade Player of the Year and was also nominated for International Age Grade Player award.
Cane helped the Chiefs to the first of their back-to-back Investec Super Rugby titles in 2012 before making his All Blacks debut in June that year aged 20. He was co-captain of the Chiefs for four years taking sole charge this year and has played 116 games for the club. In 2018 Cane fractured his neck during a Test against South Africa and faced months of recovery post-surgery before making a much-anticipated return to the Chiefs in 2019, helping the team through to the Quarter Finals. A Rugby World Cup 2015 winner with the All Blacks and part of the RWC2019 squad, Cane has scored 13 tries to date for his country.