Rugby-Savea handed All Blacks captaincy for Wallabies clash
Ardie Savea will captain New Zealand for the first time next Sunday when the All Blacks face Australia in the Rugby Championship test at Perth Stadium.
Ardie Savea will captain New Zealand for the first time next Sunday when the All Blacks face Australia in the Rugby Championship test at Perth Stadium. Savea, who is set to make his 53rd appearance for New Zealand, will take on the role after stand-in captain Sam Whitelock and first-choice halves Richie Mo'unga and Aaron Smith were left out of the squad with the players expecting babies.
Regular captain Sam Cane is currently sidelined due to injury while Brodie Retallick and Beauden Barrett have been named vice-captains. "In some ways, it's a changing time and we've gone with a changing strategy," All Blacks head coach Ian Foster told Newstalk ZB.
"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.
"Over the last few years he's really started to grow into an influential role in terms of looking at ways we can actually use his voice and his behavior to impact this team, and I think he's done a really good job of it." The All Blacks are facing a three-month stint on the road due to their involvement in The Rugby Championship, which will conclude in Queensland after the Wallabies game in Perth, followed by tour matches in the northern hemisphere.
New Zealand take on Australia on Sunday having thrashed them 57-22 in the first round of the Rugby Championship at Eden Park earlier in the month. The win also kept the Bledisloe Cup, the annual trophy contested by the trans-Tasman nations, in New Zealand hands for a 19th successive year.
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