Former All Blacks captain Rueben Thorne will not take up the captaincy of the Junior All Blacks.
Thorne, who captained the All Blacks at the 2003 World Cup, withdrew from the Junior All Blacks after being made captain.
“Reuben is an extremely experienced player who holds himself to very high standards and we respect his decision,” said All Blacks coach Graham Henry. “We picked him for the Junior All Blacks because of his good form and leadership abilities but he tells us he needs a recovery window right now, so that’s the best thing.”
The 31-year-old Thorne played in every Super 14 match for the title-winning Crusaders this season. He has won six Super rugby titles with the Crusaders and played in more than 100 matches. He also won 23 and drew one of his 28 tests as captain of the All Blacks. Since Henry took over from John Mitchell, he has not been in the mix.