With 238 Super Rugby appearances between them, the experienced internationals Sam Cane and Brad Weber have been named today as the co-captains for the Gallagher Chiefs for the 2023 season.

Head Coach Clayton McMillan said it was a straightforward decision, with the pair forming an excellent partnership in previous seasons and remain key leaders in the Gallagher Chiefs organisation, both on and off the field.

Both are centurions for the Gallagher Chiefs, with Weber, 32, celebrating his 100th game last season and has played 110 Super Rugby games on top of his 18 appearances for the All Blacks.

Cane, 31, has played 137 times for the Gallagher Chiefs since his debut in 2011, as well as 87 appearances for the All Blacks, and has been their regular captain since 2019.

“As a halfback, Brad is an important link and communicator between backs and forwards whilst Sam is generally in the thick of things. Collectively they have a great feel for where we are at in games and the shared workload ensures they provide a balanced, reliable and calm approach to our on-field leadership,” said McMillan.

“That said, I am expecting others within our squad to step up and shoulder some leadership responsibility themselves. Despite having a young squad, we have enough players who have accumulated several years’ of experience now to know what is required to thrive, not just survive at this level. Their leadership example both on and off the field will provide plenty of support for Brad and Sam.”

Both Cane and Weber said the role is a privilege and one they take with respect.

Cane said: “I love this team and I take nothing for granted. I have had a great relationship with Brad over the years and we bounce off each other in this role,” said Cane.

Weber said: “I feel really honoured to be asked to lead our group alongside my good mate Sam again this season. We have a great group of players and coaches that has the belief and is ready to take the next step and win a championship this season.”

The team begin their season in the DHL Super Rugby Pacific competition with the pre-season clash against Moana Pasifika in Auckland on Friday, with the final pre-season against the Blues at Navigation Homes Stadium in Pukekohe on Friday 17 February. This is a combined event with the Waitomo Chiefs Manawa playing the nib Blues and Waratahs in a game of three halves from 2.40pm in the lead up to Sky Super Rugby Aupiki, with the Gallagher Chiefs Blues match, to be played in three 30-minute spells, from 6pm.