Topic: Rugby

Sam Cane to take on All Blacks captaincy role

The All Blacks squad to take on Namibia on Friday (NZDT) has been named, with open-side flanker Sam Cane to take up the captaincy role for the first time.

This will be the All Blacks' second pool match of the Rugby World Cup at The Stadium in London.

The starting team is as followed:

1. Ben Franks (43)
2. Codie Taylor (3)
3. Charlie Faumuina (28)
4. Luke Romano (20)
5. Samuel Whitelock (67)
6. Liam Messam (42)
7. Sam Cane - captain (25)
8. Victor Vito (29)
9. T J Perenara (15)
10. Beauden Barrett (31)
11. Julian Savea (37)
12. Sonny Bill Williams (27)
13. Malakai Fekitoa (11)
14. Nehe Milner-Skudder (3)
15. Colin Slade (20)

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen says "It's a very special moment for 23-year-old Sam Cane who will captain the All Blacks for the first time.  He's in our leadership group, is hugely respected by everyone, is a fierce and fearless player and is someone who has the potential of being a long-term captain of the All Blacks in the future."

Hansen also says that this is also the perfect opportunity for those players not selected for the opening test against Argentina to get game time.

"At the completion of this match, 30 of the 31 players in our squad will have experienced time in the middle of the park which will give us a good foundation base going forward and which was always part of our planning pre-tournament.  It's now their time to step up."

Five players will also be playing their first Rugby World Cup match, making it a significant moment for them and their families.