Loose forward Sam Cane will take over from Kieran Read as All Blacks skipper, New Zealand Rugby said on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old Cane, who has played 68 tests since making his debut against Ireland in 2012 and captains the Chiefs in Super Rugby, said he was excited to succeed Read who retired from the All Blacks following the 2019 World Cup.
“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.
“My style will be to not change the way I do things . . . 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.”
New Zealand head coach Ian Foster said he was impressed with Cane's natural ability to connect with his team mates.
“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.”
Foster said the All Blacks’ plans for this year were still being worked on due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has shut down world sport.
“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 other leaders,” Foster added.