Paris (AFP)

The third row Sam Cane has been appointed captain of the All Blacks, replacing Kieran Read who retired after the 2019 World Cup in Japan, the New Zealand Rugby Federation announced on Tuesday.

Cane (28), also a captain in his Chiefs club, had the first of his 68 caps with the All Blacks in 2012 against Ireland.

"Sam is an experienced player, who has been playing for eight years with this team. He is a leader who thinks and guides his teammates. He has a natural ability to connect with everyone on the team, he is frank and direct, "said New Zealand coach Ian Foster, who took office after the World Cup in Japan, which ended in the semifinals.

"Players and coaching have a lot of respect for Sam, he is an ideal leader," added the All Blacks boss.

He therefore replaced Read, the third legendary line, who decided to end his international career, at 34 and 127 caps, in November.

Cane, 2015 world champion, had been captain of the All Blacks three times (against Namibia in 2015, Argentina and Italy in 2016).

"It's a huge honor. It's a very exciting challenge: I spent time with the All Blacks, I grew up as a player so I feel more comfortable leading the team" , said Cane.

"The great thing about the All Blacks is that the leadership is provided by a lot of experienced players so I can't wait to work with this group of players and do my best", he added.

© 2020 AFP