Rugby World Cup
Sam Cane heading into Rugby World Cup unknown
September 9, 2015
Sam Cane is ready for the unknown at the Rugby World Cup © Getty Images
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All Blacks loose forward Sam Cane will head into the unknown when he boards the plane bound for the Rugby World Cup. Cane is one of 17 players in New Zealand's 31-strong squad who will be off to their first cup tournament and he says anticipation is building within the whole camp.

"We're at the pretty excited point where we can't wait to get over there," he said. "We've just been making sure we tick off the final bits of preparation that we do here in New Zealand before we get on the plane."

During the All Blacks' cup triumph in 2011, Cane was a teenager who watched the action from the stands. He got his Test debut the following year and has collected 24 caps, but nothing that has happened before can fully prepare the 23-year-old for what is about to come.

"For myself, I don't know what to expect," he said. "It's my first World Cup, and we've heard and we know from history that World Cups are different. They aren't like any other campaign."

At the same time, Cane said real excitement outweighed any sense of overwhelming pressure within the squad.

"The overall feeling is true excitement and there's no real feeling of carrying some weight of expectation or anything weighing us down," he said. "We're truly looking to embrace the challenge and excited about that part of it."

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As one of two specialist openside flankers in the squad, Cane will be back-up for skipper Richie McCaw, who is at the other end of the experience scale. With a world record 142 Tests under his belt, McCaw is off to his fourth World Cup. Cane said the key message from the senior players and the coaching staff was not to take anything for granted.

"We have to go out there and earn the right to progress further in the tournament," he said. "We're truly focusing week by week, day by day. If you get too far ahead of yourself, who knows what can happen."

© AAP

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