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Sam Cane appointed All Blacks captain by new head coach Foster

The 28-year-old flanker succeeds Kieran Read.

THE ALL BLACKS have confirmed that new head coach Ian Foster has appointed Sam Cane as his captain.

28-year-old Chiefs back row Cane succeeds Kieran Read, who retired from Test rugby after the 2019 World Cup.

Cane has 68 caps for the All Blacks, having made his debut against Ireland in 2012.

barbarians-v-new-zealand-autumn-international-twickenham Cane is the new All Blacks captain. Source: David Davies

The openside was dropped to the bench for the Kiwis’ World Cup semi-final defeat to England last year, when Steve Hansen was still the head coach.

Foster, previously an assistant to Hansen, took over as the boss in the wake of the All Blacks’ third-place finish in Japan last year and has now named Cane as his leader.

Cane has already captained New Zealand three times, most recently against Argentina last year.

“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,” said Foster.

“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.”

Meanwhile, Cane – who suffered a serious neck injury in October 2018 – expressed his delight at the honour.

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“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.

“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,” Cane added.

“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.”

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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