New Zealand backrower Kieran Read is the new All Blacks captain, coach Steve Hansen has confirmed.
Read takes over from Richie McCaw, who retired after New Zealand successfully defended their Rugby World Cup title in England last year.
The 30-year-old Read – a key member of New Zealand's World Cup-winning teams in 2011 and 2015 – has earned 84 international caps, nine of those as captain in McCaw's absence, while he was named World Player of the Year in 2013.
"Reado's had experience already as captain nine times and whilst it will be a new experience to be there fulltime, at least he's had a taste of it," Hansen told Radio Sport on Friday as he prepares for life without senior figures Dan Carter, Ma'a Nonu, Keven Mealamu, Conrad Smith and Tony Woodcock.
"We have known for quite some time that five of the guys are going to be leaving, with a 1000 test matches between them.
"We've known for a while and we've planned for that."
Read's first match as skipper will be in the first of three Tests against Wales on June 11.