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'Follow-me leader' Sam Cane named captain of New Zealand

Sam Cane has been named as the new captain of the New Zealand rugby team following Kieran Read's ...

Sam Cane has been named as the new captain of the New Zealand rugby team following Kieran Read's international retirement.

Cane, who is already captain of Super Rugby side Chiefs, has won 68 caps since making his Test debut in 2012 and was part of the 2015 World Cup-winning team.

The 28-year-old has been appointed by new head coach Ian Foster who believes Cane has the respect of his team-mates and the necessary leadership skills to take on the role.

"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."

Cane, who was part of the All Blacks team that hammered Ireland in the quarter-finals of last year's World Cup, said it was a "massive honour" to be given the captaincy.

"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."

Cane has already captained the All Blacks on three occasions.

He became the 67th Test captain and fifth youngest ever when he captained the team against Namibia at the 2015 World Cup, at the age of 23.

The Rotorua native also captained the team against Italy in 2016 and against Argentina in Buenos Aires last year.

"My style as captain will be to not really change the way I do things," Cane added.

"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.

"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."

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All Blacks Chiefs Ian Foster New Zealand Sam Cane Super Rugby