New All Blacks captain for Rugby Championship

3 weeks ago 14
PR Distribution

This story was originally published on Stuff and is republished with permission

Ardie Savea has been named All Blacks captain for the Rugby Championship.

With regular skipper Sam Cane injured, and neither Sam Whitelock nor Aaron Smith with the squad in Perth for next Sunday's Bledisloe Cup test against Australia, the All Blacks have turned to Savea.

The All Blacks announced via social media on Saturday that Savea, 27, would be captain for their remaining five matches of the Rugby Championship.

Watch every match of the Bledisloe Cup and The Rugby Championship with live, ad-free and on-demand coverage on Stan Sport

They also confirmed that Brodie Retallick and Beauden Barrett would be vice-captains.

The Hurricanes loose forward has experience of captaincy in Super Rugby but takes on the job in the Test arena for the start of the All Blacks' long overseas tour.

Whitelock and Smith have been captain in Cane's absence, but neither are with the squad because of imminent baby arrivals.

READ MORE: Wallabies coach takes another shot at All Blacks

READ MORE: All Blacks brace for hostile Perth reception

READ MORE: 'Open wounds' from trans-Tasman rugby spat

Ardie Savea of the All Blacks wears goggles during a New Zealand training session. (Getty)

Coach Ian Foster outlined some of the reasons behind his thinking in a radio interview.

It was apparent the impact of COVID-19 on the trip and the pressures it brought were factors.

"In some ways it's a changing time and we've gone with a changing strategy," Foster told Newstalk ZB.

Dave Rennie of the Wallabies and Ian Foster of the All Blacks at Sky Stadium in Wellington. (Getty)

"Ardie has been a key part of our leadership group and I love that he has a very different style of leadership.

"He's very empathetic, he's got a great affinity right across the group and reads the group well from a family and emotional side, and I think that's a really important quality to have in the situation we're in."

Foster has been a member of the All Blacks coaching team from before Savea joined the side.

"He's a growing man in the environment and I'm delighted. I think he's got a great feel for the team and it will be a great learning curve for him too."

McKenzie lands monster penalty

After Perth, the All Blacks fly to Queensland for Tests against Argentina and South Africa in the Rugby Championship.

The All Blacks will then head to the Northern Hemisphere in October for five Tests, starting against the United States before four matches in Europe.

As well as Whitelock and Smith, Richie Mo'unga has missed the trip to Western Australia as an expectant father.

For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!

Big Brodie strikes for NZ

However, the trio are expected to join the squad at some point on the tour.

Savea, who has played 52 Tests, will lead the team for the meantime and is likely to for the third Bledisloe Cup Test against the Wallabies in Perth.

He will have support from vice-captains Barrett and Retallick, who have played 93 and 85 Tests respectively.

This story was originally published on Stuff and is republished with permission

Read Entire Article