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All Blacks Captain Cane Confirms Retirement At Year’s End

  • May 13, 2024
  • 2 min read
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All Blacks Captain Cane Confirms Retirement At Year’s End

Sam Cane, who joined Sungoliath in Japan last year, confirmed his retirement from international rugby at the end of 2024.

During the Rugby World Cup final against South Africa in France last year, Cane received a red card following a head-on collision with Jesse Kriel. Initially shown a yellow card in the 26th minute, the incident was reviewed and upgraded to a red card. Ardie Savea took over the captaincy after Cane’s dismissal.

“A good opportunity came my way with Suntory Sungoliath willing to offer me a three-year contract,” Cane said. “It was something we had to seriously consider as a family due to the stage I am at in my career. It will see me through to 2027, when I’ll have my 35th birthday.” New Zealand Rugby said in a statement.

Cane’s decision follows the retirement of Sam Whitelock last month.

Cane, who captained the All Blacks from 2020 after Kieran Read stepped down, was part of the 2015 World Cup-winning team in England. He currently plays alongside Cheslin Kolbe in Japan and has twice been a champion with the Waikato Chiefs in Super Rugby.

“I’m really grateful for the time that I had to wear the captain’s armband. It was a huge honour and privilege — a lot of lessons out of it and growth,” Cane added. 

Newly appointed All Blacks coach Scott Robertson discussed Cane’s decision with him “at length.” 

“I fully understand the reasons behind his decision and support him,” Robertson said. 

“The position he plays asks a lot of you mentally and physically — both of those things ramp up when you are captain. 

“So, to do what he’s done over such a long period is an incredible feat. I fully respect him taking this opportunity.” 

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