Sam Whitelock led the Crusaders to three successive Super Rugby titles from 2017-19.
WELLINGTON - Sam Whitelock would have "loved" to have been given the chance to skipper the All Blacks again.
But the 117-test veteran says he will do everything he can to help Sam Cane in the role after the loose forward was handed the armband by new coach Ian Foster.
Whitelock, who has led the side six times, had been expected to succeed Kieran Read after the number eight retired from tests following last year's World Cup but Foster opted for Cane as his new captain earlier this month.
"I would have loved to have had the opportunity," Whitelock told reporters on a conference call on Friday. "I've had a bit of a taste of it in previous years and I would have liked to have had (another) go.
"But I know how much goes into it and that you don't need the captain's arm band to help people out and make a difference and Sam is going to need all the help and support he can get.
"I'm keen to help him out where I can."
Whitelock has returned to New Zealand to rejoin the Canterbury Crusaders after his playing sabbatical with the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan was cut short when the competition was cancelled due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.