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Sam Cane named new All Blacks captain

New Zealand's flanker Sam Cane has been part of the All Blacks setup since 2012.
New Zealand's flanker Sam Cane has been part of the All Blacks setup since 2012.
Image: Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP

The All Blacks captaincy will remain in the loose-forward department with Sam Cane being announced as New Zealand’s men’s national team captain.

Cane‚ who often wears the number seven jersey‚ replaces number eight Kieran Read.

The 28-year-old‚ who has 68 Test caps since his June 2012 debut as a 20-year-old against Ireland in Christchurch‚ has long been groomed as a replacement for Richie McCaw.

McCaw captained the All Blacks in the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups that they won at home and in England.

Cane was part of the 2015 Rugby World Cup winning squad‚ where he came off the bench in five out of eight matches.

When fitness has allowed him to play for the All Blacks‚ he’s only come off the bench twice since 2016.

He also featured in the Chiefs’ twin Super Rugby successes of 2012 and 2013‚ even though he came off the bench in the 2012 37-6 triumph against the Sharks and the 2013 27-22 win against the Brumbies in Hamilton.

Cane‚ who has captained New Zealand on three previous occasions with his first game as captain against Namibia in 2015‚ was the 1113th All Black to be capped when he made his debut.

All Black coach Ian Foster said Cane‚ who came through Bay of Plenty‚ was an automatic choice.

"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‚” Foster said.

"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."

Cane said on the All Black website that he’s looking forward to the challenge of the All Black captaincy even though rugby has been put on hold in the short-term.

"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.

"I'm just myself and will continue to be. I’m already working 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."