Read congratulated on Test century
ELITE CLUB: New Zealand Rugby has led the tributes to All Blacks captain Kieran Read who became their seventh Test centurion in the historic third Test of the Lions Series at Eden Park.
The Test ended in a 15-15 draw, resulting in a drawn Series with one win a piece to the All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions and one draw.
NZR Chair Brent Impey congratulated Read on his outstanding achievement, which sees him join a unique club: Richie McCaw (148 Tests, 100th Test in 2011), Mils Muliaina (100 Tests, 2011), Keven Mealamu (132 Tests, 100th in 2012), Tony Woodcock (118 Tests, 100th in 2013), Daniel Carter (112 Tests, 100th in 2013) and Ma'a Nonu (103 Tests, 100th in 2015) are the previous players to have achieved the rare milestone.
"Kieran has made an immense contribution to the All Blacks and New Zealand rugby as a player and leader and is an inspiration to rugby supporters in New Zealand and around the world.
"I've known Kieran for many years and he's a great example of how results can be achieved through dedication, commitment, a never-say-die attitude and integrity," Impey said.
The 31-year-old Read made his Test debut against Scotland in Edinburgh 2008 and is the most-capped member of the current squad and has worn the No.8 jersey on 91 occasions, an All Blacks record. He has captained the team on 25 occasions, first wearing the armband against Italy in 2012.
He was presented with the traditional silver cap for 100 Tests by fellow All Blacks centurion Keven Mealamu at the conclusion of the match.
"Kieran is incredibly well-respected, is always leading by example, has the highest standards and is always striving for an edge and eager to learn and that motivates those around him.
"I'd also like to acknowledge his family and the rugby communities which have played such an important part in enabling Kieran to achieve what he has in the black jersey. Your support is really appreciated," Mealamu said.
In his 100 appearances, Read has scored 21 tries (105 points). He has faced 16 different Test opponents, including the British & Irish Lions, Australia (26 matches), South Africa (16), Argentina (11) and France (10).
He has been part of two World Cup-winning campaigns as the team became the first to go back-to-back, two Grand Slams (in 2008 and 2010) and helped the All Blacks claim and retain many special trophies, including the Bledisloe Cup, David Gallaher Cup and the Rugby Championship.
He was recognised as the World Player of the Year in 2013 and received the Kelvin R Tremain Memorial Trophy for New Zealand Player of the Year in 2010 and 2013. In 2014, he received the traditional greenstone mere for 100 Super Rugby games, with the Crusaders.
In May 2017, Read announced that he would be staying with New Zealand Rugby and the Crusaders through to the end of 2019.
After 37 games with Canterbury, for whom he made his provincial debut in 2006, Read has signed on with Counties Manukau, marking a return to the province where he grew up.