All Blacks captain Sam Cane delighted to join up with Cheslin Kolbe in Japan

All Blacks captain Sam Cane delighted to join up with Cheslin Kolbe in Japan

New Zealand captain Sam Cane admits he is looking forward to having Cheslin Kolbe on his side for a change when the two join forces for Tokyo Suntory Sungoliath in Japan.

The flanker has officially been unveiled as the team's latest signing, after they also recently acquired Kolbe's signature following the winger's six-year stay in France.

"It will be awesome to play with Cheslin, it will be awesome to have him on my team instead of running around trying to catch him," Cane said.

"He's someone I've admired as a rugby player for a long time, so it's been awesome to get to know him and I'm excited to take to the field with him should we get the opportunity.

"I'm excited about playing. Hopefully Dane Coles is playing for Kubota (Spears) in round one so he can go up against us."

Cane will not be able to turn out for the national team while playing in Japan, but while he isn't set to miss any major internationals during his short-term deal, that is not always the case for other All Blacks players, and Cane believes that New Zealand Rugby should review their policy which prevents the national team from selecting foreign-based players.

The All Blacks skipper pointed to South Africa's overseas policy which allows players to turn out for foreign clubs and still represent the Springboks as a model that seems to work well.

"A lot of the Springboks have shown the ability to play in League One and go back to international rugby fairly quickly and continue to play their best," he said.

Cane believes that performing well in Japan, allied with good performances for New Zealand when returning, could convince the governing body to change their mind.

"The challenge for us who are on the shorter-term deals in the hope of playing international rugby again is that we play really well here," he said.

"Should we get the opportunity to represent the All Blacks again, we've got to show we've improved our games. If not, kick-off where we left off.

"If we can do that, maybe that conversation can be had with New Zealand Rugby, but I can also see the other side.

"The fact of having experienced players to bring through young guys in the New Zealand game is equally important.

"Obviously a lot to consider and well above my pay grade."

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