From a small town in Reporoa to a World Champion to a potential career ending injury to All Black captain | The Sam Cane Story

From a small town in Reporoa to a World Champion to a potential career ending injury to All Black captain | The Sam Cane Story

On Tuesday, Ian Foster made his first move as All Blacks' head coach by naming looseforward and Chiefs Captain Sam Cane as the new Captain of the All Blacks.

A natural leader, 28-year-old Cane has played 68 Tests, including 48 starts, since making his debut against Ireland in 2012, aged just 20.


Foster described Cane as a 'follow me' type of leader with Cane beating out the likes of Sam Whitelock - who was widely tipped as the man to replace the retired Kieran Read for the role.

Raised in the small rural Bay of Plenty community of Reporoa, Sam Cane has built a reputation as one of the finest flankers in the game having enjoyed an exceptional career since breaking into professional rugby as a teenager.


In 2010, an 18-year-old Cane made his provincial debut for the Bay of Plenty with performances in his debut NPC season earning him a Super Rugby debut for the Chiefs the following year.

Cane's debut Super Rugby season was a tough one with the Chiefs as the side finished the Super Rugby season 10th overall but he did, however, have a successful year as he was also part of the Junior World Championship-winning New Zealand Under 20 side and was the New Zealand Rugby Age Grade Player of the Year and was also nominated for International Age-Grade Player award.


His continued to build his reputation as the Chiefs to the first of their back-to-back Super Rugby titles in 2012 before making his All Blacks debut in June that year aged 20. Cane came off the bench replacing Jerome Kaino, a man he would enjoy plenty of success with over his career before Kaino ended his test career in 2017.

Cane worked as Richie McCaw's understudy for the years that followed and has since developed into a devastating tackler and scavenger, he has continued to take his game to new levels in recent seasons.

He was co-Captain of the Chiefs for four years taking sole charge this year and has played 116 games for the club. In 2018 Cane fractured his neck during a Test against South Africa and faced months of recovery post-surgery before making a much-anticipated return to the Chiefs in 2019, helping the team through to the Quarter Finals.

A Rugby World Cup 2015 champion with the All Blacks, Cane was also part of the RWC2019 squad. Cane first captained the All Blacks during their successful Rugby World Cup in England in 2015 leading the side out against Namibia which the All Blacks won convincingly claiming a 14-58 victory.

He has captained the side a further two times, the second time coming against Italy in 2016 and third being against Argentina in 2019. 

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