In 2011, Cane was part of the Junior World Championship-winning New Zealand Under 20 side, was the New Zealand Rugby Age Grade Player of the Year and was also nominated for International Age Grade Player award.

At the young age of 18, Cane made his Super Rugby debut for the Gallagher Chiefs in 2010, the same year he debuted for Bay of Plenty. Cane was part of the Gallagher Chiefs successful Investec Super Rugby title winning campaigns in 2012 and 2013.

Cane was named Captain in 2016 and has held the position since. Sam played his 100th game for the Gallagher Chiefs in 2018 v Highlanders.

He made his All Blacks debut in 2012 at 20 years old and then named captain of the All Blacks in 2020. Cane was apart of the 2019 All Blacks Rugby World Cup squad who finished the tournament 3rd in Japan. He has been a resourceful member of the All Blacks leadership group. First captaining the All Blacks side during the 2015 Rugby World Cup and later captaining the team during the 2019 Investec Championship.

Cane suffered a season ending injury during the 2021 Super Rugby season and missing majority of the Gallagher Chiefs games. He is lined up to make his return to rugby in the All Blacks northern tour in the later part of 2021.

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