Sam Cane (right) is the new All Blacks captain. Photo: AP Photo/Gustavo Garello
Sam Cane (right) is the new All Blacks captain. Photo: AP Photo/Gustavo Garello

New All Blacks skipper Cane has some big boots to fill

By Jacques vd Westhuyzen Time of article published May 6, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG – Chiefs flanker Sam Cane has been named by coach Ian Foster as the All Blacks’ new captain, succeeding No 8 Kieran Read, who retired from international rugby after last year’s World Cup in Japan.

The 28-year-old Cane, who has played 68 Tests, made his debut in 2012. He has previously captained the New Zealand team on three occasions.

Rugby writer Jacques van der Westhuyzen lists the five All Blacks captains who’ve made a big impression on him since 1992.

Kieran Read

The No 8 captained the team on 52 occasions, with 43 wins, seven losses and two draws, and is arguably one of the best back-row forwards to have played the game.

There was a time when Read was in a class of his own; he was skilful, fast and powerful and lead by example.

He was also always gracious in defeat and humble in victory.

Former All Blacks No 8 and captain Kieran Read. Photo: Mark Baker/AP

Mils Muliaina

The fullback led the All Blacks on just three occasions, in June 2009 against France (two Tests) and Italy.

He was on top of his game that year and went on to become New Zealand’s Super Rugby Player of the Year.

Softly-spoken off the field, he commanded respect on it.

Former All Blacks captain Mils Muliaina. Photo: Image Forum

Richie McCaw

The former flanker will probably go down as one of the greatest All Blacks of all time.

A powerhouse on the field, he gave every team nightmares; he never let up and led his side to 97 wins in his 110 Tests as captain between 2004 and 2015.

Off the field, he was personable, friendly and knowledgeable - a leader of the highest order.

Former flanker Richie McCaw will probably go down as one of the greatest All Blacks of all time. Photo: Reuters/Matthew Childs

Tana Umaga

There may have been better outside centres but there was no All Black No 13 with his spirit, will-to-win and personality.

He was a player who gave, and left, everything on the field. There was passion in everything he did; a leader who was easy to follow.

He registered 18 wins from his 21 Tests as captain in 2004 and 2005.

There was passion in everything Umaga did; a leader who was easy to follow. Photo: Brendon Ratnayake/www.photosport.nz

Todd Blackadder

A colossal figure in Canterbury rugby, the lock was a stand-out Crusaders player who led the national team on 10 occasions in 2000.

He was never the biggest and he was never the most intimidating player, and he was softly-spoken and almost shy, but boy, did he have a presence.

His humility made him a stand-out.

Todd Blackadder as Bath head coach. Photo: Henry Browne
@jacq_west


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