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May 15, 2024, 5:15 pm
Sports, World

‘It’s up to me to pick him’ – Scott Robertson weighs in on Sam Cane’s All Black future

Fiji One News Team
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Scott Robertson has responded to incumbent captain Sam Cane’s announcement that he’ll be retiring from test rugby at the end of this season. The incoming All Black coach revealed he’d had conversations not only with Cane, but also hinted that he’d spoken to his preferred successor.

Robertson described Cane’s involvement in the upcoming test season as a “good question”.

“He’s coming back from injury, he’s got to perform to be involved in the All Blacks and he knows that. “

Cane has cut short his contract with NZ Rugby early, signing a contract extension with Japanese Top League side Suntory Sungoliath.

“He’s been involved in leadership meetings already, he’s got that leadership quality of being able to say the right thing at the right time. When you’ve played 95 tests … you know what it takes. He’s available and if he performs and it’s up to me to pick him.”

Robertson also shed some light on Cane’s mysterious injury sustained at the start of the year, apparently while training with his Suntory side.

“Currently all going well, he should be available for selection around the Argentina tests,” Robertson said, which will be mid-August. That will mean Cane will have had almost eight months out of the game, no Super Rugby and limited options to prepare for a test season. The NPC doesn’t start until the weekend of the first test against the Pumas, at Sky Stadium in Wellington.

Robertson confirmed that the captaincy choice was his alone. Right now, the front runners would seem to be Scott Barrett and Ardie Savea.

“Look, there’s conversations that have been had and discussions with players. That’s all I can say,” he said when asked if he had informed the new captain of their promotion up the ranks.

Robertson also confirmed that he would be naming a 32-man squad for the opening three tests of the season, with two against England in Dunedin and Auckland, then against Fiji in San Diego.

“We’re just making sure we get our combinations right, like who can play in two positions. What will help us win those three tests … how do we manage those positions, combinations – that’s been our work at the moment.”

There was some good news on the injury front though, with Robertson confirming that Will Jordan was recovering well from his shoulder surgery and will be available for the Argentina tests as well.

(Source: RNZ)