Ardie Savea’s “different” style of leadership earned him the All Blacks captaincy Saturday, as he was named to lead the side for the first time against Australia next weekend.
Veterans Brodie Retallick and Beauden Barrett were named as Savea’s vice-captains for their remaining five matches in the Rugby Championship, the All Blacks announced on social media ahead of the Wallabies clash in Perth.
Regular skipper Sam Cane is injured and unlikely to rejoin the team before their end-of-year northern tour while Sam Whitelock and Aaron Smith, who have already captained the side this year, did not travel to Australia, with their wives due to give birth soon.
Coach Ian Foster said he considered a number of strong candidates to take over the leadership before opting for the 52-Test Wellington Hurricanes captain.
“It’s a changing time and we’ve gone with a changing strategy,” he told Radio Newstalk ZB. “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.—APP