Sam Cane ready for a massive year of rugby
All Blacks captain Sam Cane has his sights squarely set on a distraction-free rugby season in 2023.
That starts with a continuation of his co-leadership role with the Chiefs in DHL Super Rugby and extends into the All Blacks' preparation for the Rugby World Cup in France later in the year.
Cane, 31, mindful of events surrounding the future coaching of the All Blacks, said whatever the process involved, he wanted minimal disruption for the playing group.
With 86 Test caps and 133 Super Rugby games, Cane starts his year with the Chiefs pre-season game against Moana Pasifika at Mt Smart Stadium's training ground on Friday.
He will share the captaincy with halfback Brad Weber and said he was honoured to share the role again with his 'good mate'.
"I'm really excited about the season. We've got a good blend of young guys who have had two-three years of Super Rugby experience. There's a lot of competition for places.
"It certainly helps to have Damian [McKenzie] back in the mix and a fit and healthy Brodie Retallick. I'm excited for the season ahead."
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Cane said he thought the co-captaincy approach worked well for the Chiefs.
"It's not always a good fit, but it has worked well here at the Chiefs. It also helps that the Super Rugby campaign is a long season, and to have two guys in key positions and a forward and a back gives us a good balance.
"If anything, it also puts a bit more responsibility on both of our shoulders, not just one.
"And the team doesn't get sick of hearing one voice by the end of the season. But Brad and I have a lot of experienced campaigners, guys that have been captains of the Chiefs and led games, so we'll be able to draw on them for lots of help and experience.
"There will also be a big onus on that middle tier of players, who have four or five years of Super Rugby experience. They know what it's about, and we expect them to step up, and a few of those to have massive seasons as well."