All Blacks captain Sam Cane announces huge decision on his future

Exit door.

All Blacks captain Sam Cane has announced he will be stepping away from the Test arena at the end of the year after signing a long-term deal in Japan.

Having played 95 Tests (27 as captain), the 32-year-old has decided to focus on spending more time with family and sign a long-term contract with Suntory Goliath in Tokyo.

As planned, Cane will return home at the end of the current Japanese club season where he is on sabbatical and is eligible to be selected for the All Blacks in 2024, giving him the chance to become the team’s 13th Test centurion.

In 2025, Cane will relocate with his wife Harriet and two-year-old son Hudson to Tokyo after signing a three-year contract (2027) with Suntory Goliath. The deal was made possible after he requested an early release from the final year (2025) of his contract with New Zealand Rugby.

“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.

“I’ve always thought that if I can play professional rugby for that length of time I’d be doing really well considering the position I play and the age that I started playing professionally.

“I had to weigh up everything and, in the end, with a young family it seemed like the best decision to help set up our future. It was a very hard one because I love the teams that I represent here in New Zealand.

“We obviously love this country, we love being around friends and family but we ultimately made the decision to sign with Suntory, which we’re really excited about. We have enjoyed our first year there and we just thought it was the best thing for our young family.”

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