All Blacks captain Sam Cane has experienced many highs in his playing career. World Cup victories, Super Rugby wins and hard-earned comebacks from a series of brutal injuries. But nothing can compare to the excitement he and his wife Harriet are feeling as they announce their most wonderful news yet – they’re having a baby!
“It’s pretty unbelievable,” Sam beams as he speaks exclusively to Woman’s Day via Zoom, fresh out of MIQ after seven weeks away with the All Blacks. He and Harriet have kept their news largely to themselves until now, but with Sam home and Harriet almost 20 weeks pregnant, they’re thrilled to finally share it.
“I don’t think I realised quite how badly I wanted it until it happened,” says Sam, 29. “We’d always been open about wanting children, but it’s quite funny – you go from talking about having kids one day and suddenly… Boom, it’s a reality! We’re just so stoked and incredibly grateful that it happened so quickly for us.”
The baby news tops off a big year for the Chiefs star, who endured months of rehabilitation after shoulder reconstruction and pectoral muscle reattachment surgery at the start of 2021. Joining the All Blacks for the final leg of their Northern Hemisphere tour in October was a huge milestone, but Sam admits leaving Harriet behind felt harder than ever.
“It really gave me a new appreciation of what the other boys in the team go through when they have to leave their families,” shares Sam, quickly noting that his seven weeks away paled in comparison to the 15 weeks most of his teammates were gone for.
“It definitely felt different knowing Harriet was pregnant, but at the same time, it was such a rewarding and proud moment to be able to get back out there to play for the All Blacks again. It was exactly where I wanted to be and what I wanted to be doing.”
Sam and Harriet, who first met in a bar six years ago, are speaking to us at the stunning home they built together on a lifestyle block just outside of Hamilton. On the wall behind them is a striking stag’s head from Sam’s family farm, the sun is streaming in and their miniature schnauzer Willow is snoozing at their feet.
The couple smile as they recall the day back in August that they discovered 25-year-old Harriet was pregnant. They’d only recently decided it was time to start trying for a baby and they never expected it would happen so fast.
“I had taken a test a week earlier that had come back negative, so I didn’t actually have high hopes,” says Harriet, a kindergarten teacher. “But then the line appeared very faintly and we just stood there in shock, watching it get darker and clearer. I was totally shocked and was jumping around with happiness.”
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