Wellington - Head coach Steve Hansen has confirmed backrower Kieran Read will take over as All Blacks captain after the retirement of Richie McCaw.
The 30-year-old Read has already led New Zealand in nine of his 84 Tests. He was the World Rugby Player of the Year in 2013, although he has recently sustained multiple concussions.
Hansen said on Friday All Blacks coaches had been prepared for McCaw's retirement after last year's World Cup victory.
Read has captaincy experience "and while it will be a new experience to be there fulltime, at least he's had a taste of it. We have known for quite some time that five of the guys are going to be leaving, with 1 000 Test matches between them."
Sam Cane will take over from McCaw at openside flank.