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Ardie Savea named as All Blacks captain for third Wallabies test

By Alex McLeod

Trending on RugbyPass

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Ardie Savea will make his All Blacks captaincy debut against the Wallabies at Optus Stadium in Perth next Sunday.

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Savea was confirmed as the All Blacks skipper on Saturday after Sam Whitelock and Aaron Smith, both of whom have captained the All Blacks in the absence of the injured Sam Cane, were left in New Zealand due to the arrival of their respective babies.

Without Cane, Whitelock or Smith in his squad, All Blacks head coach Ian Foster was left without a captaincy option in his squad for next week’s clash, which is the final Bledisloe Cup match of the year and is the second Rugby Championship fixture for both teams.

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As a result, Foster has elected to appoint Savea as captain for the upcoming match, with veterans Brodie Retallick and Beauden Barrett supporting the loose forward as vice-captains.

Barrett is the only player in Foster’s 35-man travelling squad with All Blacks captaincy experience, as the 30-year-old led New Zealand against the Barbarians at Twickenham in 2017.

By taking the leadership reigns in his 53rd test match, Savea will become the fifth player of Pasifika heritage to captain the All Blacks, following in the footsteps of Tana Umaga, Rodney So’oialo, Mils Muliaina and Keven Mealamu.

Savea has previous leadership experience at Super Rugby level, having taken charge as Hurricanes captain for this year’s campaign.

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The All Blacks have already secured the Bledisloe Cup for a 19th consecutive year after dispatching the Wallabies in back-to-back tests at Eden Park in Auckland earlier this month.

However, the New Zealanders currently trail the league-leading Springboks on the Rugby Championship table by four points, although the All Blacks have a game in hand over the South Africans.

Following next week’s match in Perth, the All Blacks will play their remaining Rugby Championship fixtures against the Springboks and Los Pumas across Brisbane, Townsville and the Gold Coast between September and October.

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Ardie Savea named as All Blacks captain for third Wallabies test

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