Rodney So’oialo is still coming to terms with the All Blacks captaincy as New Zealand begin preparations for Saturday’s Tri-Nations opener against South Africa.
The No 8 was promoted after regular skipper Richie McCaw injured his ankle against England two weeks ago, forcing him out of action for up to a month, according to News24.
Samoan-born So’oialo, 28, will become the 61st man to captain the All Blacks and while he was honoured to be given the job, he said fellow forward McCaw was still the team leader.
“Even though he’s not physically with the team he’s still a big part,” So’oialo told reporters after an indoor training session on Monday.
“He’s still got a knowledge of the game and can certainly help out with the team.”
The All Blacks are unbeaten in three Tests this season but So’oialo said they faced a massive task against the Springboks, who are still on a high after winning the Rugby World Cup last year.
“We’re playing the best team in the world,” So’oialo said.
“They certainly showed that in their World Cup campaign and then coming into the games they’ve had in the last few weeks, they’ve been great and they’re certainly the benchmark that we need to reach.”Tweet