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Hore Succeeds So'oialo As Hurricanes Skipper

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Jan 27 NZPA - Andrew Hore has succeeded Rodney So'oialo as Hurricanes rugby captain ahead of the Super 14 rugby championship starting next month.

No 8 So'oialo opted to step down to focus on improving his own game and hands the skipper's armband to another veteran All Blacks forward in hooker Hore.

So'oialo, 30, who led the team for 49 matches after taking over from Tana Umaga in 2006, said a desire to extend his playing career was behind his decision.

"I want to offer the Hurricanes and the franchise the best I have and to do that I need to really focus on getting my body right," So'oialo told The Dominion Post.

"It was tough, but then again you have to make these decisions to benefit the team and yourself really.

"I want to try and continue to contribute my all to the Hurricanes and to the All Blacks for the next two years."

So'oialo is one of the longest-serving New Zealand Super rugby players, having debuted for the Hurricanes in 2001. He struggled with injury through much of last year's campaign and lost his All Blacks' starting role to Kieran Read.

Hore said this would be his first captaincy role in a long first class career and didn't see the opportunity coming.

"I did expect (So'oialo) to carry on, but it's a mark of the man really that he's done what he thinks is best for the team," he said.

The Hurricanes have a pre-season match against the ACT Brumbies in Porirua on Friday and open their campaign against the Blues in Auckland on February 12.

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