As expected Kieran Read will be the next captain of New Zealand after Steve Hansen confirmed that he will become Richie McCaw’s successor.
The Crusaders No.8 has led the World Champion All Blacks in McCaw’s absence in recent seasons and was expected to take on the role following the legendary openside’s retirement after the World Cup.
Read captained New Zealand for the first time back in 2012 on a tour to Europe where he was given the nod against Italy, and he has now skippered the All Blacks on nine occasions.
And with McCaw and Tony Woodcock retiring, while Dan Carter, Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith all called time on their Test careers, Hansen is confident the All Blacks have planned ahead to make the transition.
"Reado's had experience already as captain nine times and whilst it will be a new experience to be there full-time, at least he's had a taste of it," Hansen told Radio Sport.
"We have known for quite some time that five of the guys are going to be leaving, with a 1000 test matches between them.
“We've known for a while and we've planned for that."
While Read will replace McCaw as skipper, there is also the considerable task of filling his spot in the back row, but Hansen is confident that Sam Cane, who actually captained the All Blacks against Namibia, will be able to fill the role.
"Sam Cane's had a taste of test footy and he's raring to go," said Hansen.
"So if we're going in with all of those things brand new then it would be a lot different but I've got a lot of confidence in the people that are going to step up."
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