Savea to captain All Blacks v Wallabies

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Ardie Savea will captain New Zealand for the first time next Sunday when the All Blacks face Australia in their Rugby Championship Test at Optus Stadium in Perth.

Savea, who is set to make his 53rd appearance for New Zealand, will take on the role after stand-in skipper Sam Whitelock and first-choice halves Richie Mo'unga and Aaron Smith were left out of the squad with the players expecting babies.

Regular captain Sam Cane is currently sidelined due to injury while Brodie Retallick and Beauden Barrett have been named vice-captains.

"Ardie has been a key part of our leadership group and I love that he has a very different style of leadership," All Blacks head coach Ian Foster told Newstalk ZB.

"He's very empathetic, he's got a great affinity right across the group and reads the group well from a family and emotional side, and I think that's a really important quality to have in the situation we're in.

"Over the last few years he's really started to grow into an influence role in terms of looking at ways we can actually use his voice and his behaviour to impact this team, and I think he's done a really good job of it."

The All Blacks are facing a three-month stint on the road due to their involvement in The Rugby Championship, which will conclude in Queensland after the Wallabies game in Perth, followed by tour matches in the northern hemisphere.

New Zealand take on Australia on Sunday having won 57-22 at Eden Park earlier in the month.

The win in Auckland also kept the Bledisloe Cup, the annual trophy contested by the trans-Tasman nations, in New Zealand hands for a 19th successive year.

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