British and Irish Lions: All Black Sam Cane plays down Richie McCaw link

Sam Cane
Sam Cane was part of the New Zealand side that won the World Cup in 2015
New Zealand v British and Irish Lions, first Test
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland Date: Saturday, 24 June Kick-off: 08:35 BST
Coverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app

Flanker Sam Cane says he is eager to "carve his own path" in the iconic New Zealand number seven shirt.

Cane will play on the openside flank in first Test against the British and Irish Lions on Saturday, the position previously filled by double World Cup-winning captain Richie McCaw.

"He's probably one of our greatest, if not the greatest, All Black," Cane, 25, told BBC Radio 5 live.

"But there is no point trying to do what someone else did."

Cane, part of the World Cup-winning squad in 2015, has been an ever-present in the back row since McCaw's retirement and is one of the leaders in the current side.

The Chiefs forward is aware of the responsibility of representing the All Blacks in such a historic series.

"There is a lot made about the black jersey, but it's not so much the jersey itself - it's the men who have filled it. That's what makes it special," he said.

"There are expectations and pressure you put on yourself anyway, and there is no point trying to dump any more on you. You have to carve your own path."

Cane, who was a 13-year-old supporter when the Lions last toured New Zealand in 2005, said it is "good timing" he is set to face them as a player.

"I have good memories," he said. "I'm from Bay of Plenty and that was the first game of the tour, so Dad and I went along and stood on the grass area.

"Rugby and life is a little bit about timing and some things you don't have control over. So to be at the stage I am of my career with them coming over, it's all becoming pretty real, pretty quickly."

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