Sam Cane All Black captain - Such a sad day for All Black rugby

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May 05, 2020, 13:59

In whta must be the saddest day in recent years for the All Blacks, Loose forward Sam Cane was named as the new captain of the All Blacks on Tuesday, taking over from the retired Kieran Read as the three-time world champions look to forge a new era.

Cane, who can barely secure himself a starting spot, is a contentious choice at best and may be the worst choice as captain since Taine Randell.

Cane, 28, already captains the Chiefs in Super Rugby and has been part of the All Blacks' leadership group for several years.

But the 68-Test veteran's selection as skipper comes as a minor surprise, with lock Sam Whitelock widely considered the frontrunner to replace Read.

Coach Ian Foster, installed after last year's World Cup, described the hard-tackling Cane as a "follow-me" type of leader who also had a deep understanding of the game.

"There's massive respect for Sam amongst the players and management, and he's perfectly placed to lead the All Blacks into the future," said Foster.

Cane, a World Cup winner with New Zealand in 2015, said he was looking forward to the challenge.

"It's honestly just a massive honour and privilege, couldn't wait to tell my parents honestly," he said.

Cane made a remarkable comeback last year after breaking his neck playing against the Springboks in 2018, returning after seven months from a fracture that doctors said was only millimetres from paralysing him,

"It seems like a long time ago but it's not really and it was a pretty crazy turnaround," he said.

"I just feel very lucky to be able to play rugby, first and foremost."

Foster acknowledged Whitelock and Brodie Retallick were contenders for the role but said appointing Cane "has been my gut feeling for a while".

"He's a straight shooter, he walks the talk... he can annoy you at times, he comes and asks a lot of questions, he challenges, and I think that's exactly what we want out of an All Black captain," he said.

Bledisloe Tests 'very possible'

The All Blacks are rebuilding after a string of retirements following their semi-final exit at last year's World Cup in Japan, including Foster's predecessor as coach Steve Hansen.

With rugby currently shut down because of Covid-19, Foster said promoting Cane would give him time to settle into the position.

"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.

Cane, who made his debut against Ireland in 2012, has acted as stand-in captain on three occasions previously.

It remains unclear when he will take the field wearing the skipper's armband in a permanent capacity, with home Tests against Wales and Scotland in July almost certain to be cancelled because of the virus.

The Rugby Championship involving New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina is also in doubt, although there are hopes the All Blacks can salvage some Tests against Australia later this year.

"When borders get open we're playing, it's just a matter of guessing which border opens first," Foster said.

"Cleary you're going to be thinking that a Bledisloe Cup series (against Australia) is going to be very possible sometime this year, even if it's in December, it might be in the lead-up to Christmas."

May 05, 2020, 15:45

wrong thread.

May 05, 2020, 15:58

I'm not sure what all the fuss is about.

Rassie did the exact same thing ... and you lot celebrated his choice.

Sam Kane is by far a better choice than the one you guys got to lead the Goats.  He's a worthy All Black.

The same cannot be said of Kolisi. He shouldn't be allowed to play provincial rugby.

Just out of interest ... who would you have selected to captain the All Blacks?

May 05, 2020, 16:00

I always liked Cane as a player from the time he became am All Black, but I doubt very much of he is suitable to be captain,  The other player mentioned - Sam Whitelock used to be one of the best locks in the business,  however, in the last year his performances deteriorated and at 30 years of age there seems to be no chance of improving in his form in future.

However,  to my mind there has been worse captains around in World Rugby caused by ageing and Reid was one of those.     

May 05, 2020, 17:18

Age didn't reduce Reid ability to captain his squad ... it's his play that deteriorated.

I would replace Quota Kolisi with him in a heartbeat ... even at his current age.


May 05, 2020, 17:25

Hell if you can select Dud as a flank, you can select Cane as a captain.

May 05, 2020, 17:43

The World selected Du Toit - you are too stupid o realize that,  

May 05, 2020, 18:47

The world is not enough to elevate a guy who cost us 70 metres in the knockouts.

May 05, 2020, 19:27

According to a lie concocted by guess who - MOZART 

May 05, 2020, 19:50

Wow, all uppercase. Nothing is as irrefutable as words typed entirely in uppercase! La shock! :O

May 05, 2020, 20:36

Cane is hardly a certain starter on merit

Savea is far far better

May 05, 2020, 22:42

"The same cannot be said of Kolisi. He shouldn't be allowed to play provincial rugby."

...he didn't do too badly, considering he's barely a provincial player.

And yes, to Saffex's point.... Ardie is an unbelievable player... he's got grunt, aggression, pace and the skill of a center.

May 05, 2020, 22:45

I think the ABs see Ardie Savea as the replacement for Read at #8.

May 05, 2020, 22:56

Will be interesting to see how Savea goes at 8, I don’t think it will work, he is built for openside

May 05, 2020, 23:57

Ardie Savea is dynamic with ball in hand but if the ABs are back pedalling and the chips are down, give me Sam Cane on defence any day.

May 06, 2020, 00:18

Savea is a better number 8 as he has allround skills to link with the backs, pass, make breaks or carry the ball up. He is also a good enough fetcher to play at 6, but this would give him less opportunity to get involved in other facets of the game. 

This is more important in determining a players position than just a players weight. 

All Blacks screwed up in the semi-final against England. They did not back their own game plan that demolished Ireland in the quarters, and instead, put Scott Barrett at blindside to beef up their pack. The experiment was a disaster as the All Blacks lost their usual breakdown skills and quick tempo game plan, which helps if their pack is getting less than 50% possession. 

Also, having the opportunist Beuden Barrat at 10, the All Blacks do not need to have forward domination to win games. All Blacks need to have a pole kicker in another position like at XV and put Barrat back at 10. 

May 06, 2020, 07:47

Kolisi wasn't selected to captain the Goats because of his leadership skills. He was selected because he's black. There is no argument about that.

"Not doing too badly" ... ?? He calls a meeting every time a decision needs to be taken ... and then he goes with what the group's decided. That isn't a leader in my view. It's a chump out of his depth.

He was also not selected to play for the national side because he's the best option available. He was selected because he's black ... and Rassie needed the numbers. They had to fit him in somewhere. 

He's not an 8 ... and he's too weedy for a 7 ... so what choice did they have but to give this incompetent quota the 6 jersey.

Sam Cane captains his SR side and has shown a natural ability to lead his men. He doesn't need to call a board meeting to decide on whether to go for the poles or to find touch.

"Not doing to badly" is what I associate Kolisi with. He doesn't stand out at all. Not in anything.

Savea is a brilliant player and I too would prefer him at 8.

Chippo ... you didn't answer my question about who you'd prefer as All Blacks captain.

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