April 15, 2020

Cane open-minded about rugby in 2020 and beyond

Gallagher Chiefs skipper Sam Cane has been involved in several different meetings about the future of rugby in New Zealand.

The All Blacks flanker featured on Sky Sport’s Breakdown show last night and expressed his excitement of what could be if rugby is played again in 2020.

Cane spoke openly and honestly about his situation and how difficult life must be for many New Zealanders.

“I’ve certainly realised that rugby is just a game and particularly over the last 10 days to two weeks when you hear more and more about businesses struggling and people being laid off. When you hear about these things it really hits home a lot more. You realise our roles are pretty small, but we just want to make sure we are doing everything we can to help navigate through this time.

“One thing we can control as players is making sure we are staying in good shape so that when the time comes for us to get back on the field, we put a good product out there. But we know a lot of people are hurting at this time.”

The 28-year old said once we get through this difficult time, he wants to be able to look back and say players and New Zealand Rugby dealt with this in the best possible way and look back at it with pride.

He also credited how good technology has been throughout lockdown, as he’s been on regular calls with the Rugby Players Association.

“Every Super Rugby team will have a WhatsApp group, which has been unreal, and so has Zoom. The work Rob [Nichol] and Kevin Senio do with the Players Association has been world class and we are very lucky to have them. There is a lot of communication that goes back and forth between each Super Rugby team. Each team have a couple of reps and we go back to Rob once or twice a week at the moment on Zoom conference calls and we nut out everything and fire back questions to Rob.”

Cane also joins Sam Whitelock and Sarah Hirini on another regular call with CEO’s and Board Members from around the country.

“We are mixing in with some of the big dogs, but the idea of that group is to look at the best way to get through this time from a rugby point of view and commercially see what a competition will look like depending on when the levels go down. But I’ve been so impressed with how collaborative everyone is from players to New Zealand Rugby. Everyone is working together to get the best outcome for rugby as a whole.”

The 68-Test All Black hopes that people will realise how much they miss and love rugby when this is all over. He said players are open-minded when it comes to new competitions and anything else that can create a real buzz around rugby.

“The product itself is outstanding, but maybe there are chances to spruce things up and put a different twist on it. Earlier this year there was a lot of work going into creating a global competition and from a player’s point of view we were open to that. But we also realise the logistics that go into that. But with what’s going on, it does present opportunities to look at these sorts of things and I’ve been impressed with how openly everyone is looking at them.”

Cane’s obviously hoping he can turn out again for the Gallagher Chiefs in some form of Super Rugby this year, and he’s also excited about the potential opportunity for All Blacks to play domestic rugby, with discussions ongoing about the 2020 rugby schedule in New Zealand.

For Cane personally, he’s just been training hard at home in his bubble, with a fellow Gallagher Chiefs teammate. Lachlan Boshier and his partner Bex moved into Cane and his wife, Harriet’s bubble before lockdown. Harriet’s brother Liam is also with them and he’s an aspiring rugby player.

“There’s five of us in the household and three of us training for rugby so that has certainly helped with the motivation. I’ve been hammering the roads a wee bit which has been a bit hard on the legs because I’m not used to running on the roads. But we are doing our best to stay in shape.”

Cane open-minded about rugby in 2020 and beyond