Ardie Savea named New Zealand's game ahead of Perth game against Australia

Ardie Savea has played 52 Tests for New Zealand
Ardie Savea has played 52 Tests for New Zealand

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster has named Ardie Savea the captain ahead of the third Bledisloe Cup game against Australia in Perth on 5th September.

The decision follows after regular skipper Sam Cane is still unavailable due to injury and is unlikely to return to action before the end of the year internationals while Sam Whitelock, who led the side to back to back wins at Eden Park will miss the encounter along with Aaron Smith and Richie Mo'unga as they are on a paternity leave.

Foster has appointed Brodie Retallick and Beauden Barrett as vice-captains for the remainder of the competition with the team heading to Queensland following the encounter against the Wallabies.

“Over the last few years he’s really started to grow into an influential role in terms of looking at ways we can actually use his voice and his behaviour to impact this team, and I think he’s done a really good job of it,” Foster said.

“Secondly, we’re really starting to see his form at the level we know he can play at. He’s a growing man in the environment and I’m delighted. I think he’s got a great feel for the team and it will be a great learning curve for him too.”

The 27-year-old made his debut for the All Blacks in 2016 and has gone on to play 52 games including five matches in the 2019 World Cup.

“It’s a changing time and we’ve gone with a changing strategy,” said Savea 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, and I think that’s a really important quality to have in the situation we’re in.”