New Zealand skipper Sam Cane to retire from international rugby at end of 2024

Sam Cane has played 95 Tests for New Zealand
Sam Cane has played 95 Tests for New Zealand

New Zealand captain Sam Cane has announced his decision to retire from international rugby at the end of 2024.

Cane made his All Blacks debut in 2012 and has played 95 Tests while captaining them on 27 occasions. The 32-year-old was part of the 2015 World Cup winning New Zealand side and also managed a third place finish in the 2019 edition.

He took over captaincy in 2020 from Kieran Read and led New Zealand to a second place finish in the 2023 World Cup in France.

Cane started his career with Bay of Plenty in 2010 with his Super Rugby debut for Chiefs coming in 2011. He is currently playing in Japan playing for Suntory Goliath but will still be eligible to represent the All Blacks this year.

He will be moving to Japan along with his family following his international retirement after signing a new contract with Suntory Goliath until 2027.

“A good opportunity came my way with Suntory Sungoliath willing to offer me a three-year contract,” Cane told the club's official website.

“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.”