Cane gets All Blacks captaincy
NEWS: All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has revealed his captain ahead of a tough challenge in Buenos Aires.
Flank Sam Cane will lead New Zealand in their Rugby Championship opener against Argentina.
Regular skipper Kieran Read and his deputy Sam Whitelock are among eight Crusaders players that will not be travelling to Buenos Aires after their recent Super rugby Final victory.
The other six are Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Joe Moody, Matt Todd, Richie Mo’unga and Jack Goodhue. They are all being rested for the match against the Springboks in Wellington on July 27.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) July 12, 2019
Meanwhile, powerhouse loose forward Shannon Frizell will also miss the Argentina Test due to a cut on a joint.
The good news for All Blacks fans is that Sonny Bill Williams will be travelling with the squad to Buenos Aires following his recovery from a hamstring injury.
“He [Williams] 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 no point putting him out there and him reinjuring it. We’ll make that decision next week.”
Hansen said he is well aware of the challenges that await his team in Argentina.
“The external challenge is an Argentina team that has a lot of unity and has had a lot of time together [as the Jaguares in Super Rugby],” he said.
“They’re a big pack, they’ve got a lot of confidence, and they’ve just had a little bit of adversity so will be somewhat more determined. It would be a great way to get rid of the pain of losing the final if they beat us.
“The internal challenge is moulding the team quickly into our patterns, our way of playing and getting connected in really tight. We’ll have to work hard at that.”