All Blacks captain Sam Cane confirms New Zealand exit following World Cup final defeat


All Blacks captain Sam Cane has confirmed he is taking a break from New Zealand Rugby to take up a contract in Japan following their Rugby World Cup final defeat to South Africa.

Cane is set to leave the Chiefs and take a sabbatical, signing a one-year deal with Tokyo-based club Suntory Goliath.

The 31-year-old flanker was red-carded in the final for a high tackle in the first half of New Zealand’s 12-11 defeat to the Springboks.

But Cane will return to New Zealand in June and be available for international selection with the All Blacks.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to skip a season with the Chiefs, but I know the team is in a great place and has an incredible group of leaders in the squad and the coaching group to have a successful 2024,” Cane said in a statement.

“And I’m really pleased to be able to return in time to put my best foot forward for selection in the All Blacks.”

Cane’s national contract with New Zealand runs until the end of 2025.

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