Sam Cane To Lead All Blacks Against Pumas
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has revealed that Sam Cane will captain the side in their Rugby Championship opener with Argentina on July 20.
The world champions’ regular skipper, Kieran Read, and their vice-captain, Sam Whitelock, are among eight members of the Crusaders team who will not be travelling to Buenos Aires after their recent triumph over the Jaguares in the Super Rugby Final.
Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Joe Moody, Matt Todd, Richie Mo’unga and Jack Goodhue are the other six Crusaders players in the All Blacks’ squad who will not be involved in the Argentina Test. They are being rested for the Pumas match but will be considered for selection for the Test against South Africa in Wellington on July 27.
Hansen confirmed, however, that Crusaders newcomers Sevu Reece and Braydon Ennor and one-Test wing George Bridge would be in the side to travel to Argentina while Highlanders back-row Shannon Frizell would not be going as he suffered a cut that was right on a joint and prevented him from training.
“We want him to go back and train and if he flies he loses four days of his training time,” he told the All Blacks’ official website.
Veteran inside centre Sonny Bill Williams had come through the week’s training and was a possible contender for a place next weekend in Buenos Aires.
“He is a shot to play but we’re not going to risk him,” said Hansen.
“As much as we want him to play and he needs game time, if he’s not 100 percent, there’s not point putting him out there and him re-injuring it. We’ll make that decision next week. He’s training really well, making very good progress.”