Skipper Ready for 'different' Boks challenge
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP SPOTLIGHT: World Champions All Blacks head into this fixture as favourites, however, captain Kieran Read is expecting a much more different Springbok side than the 2016 version.
With both sides being unbeaten in the Championship, Read admitted the fixture produced a different challenge for the All Blacks. However, he feels that the side's 2017 experiences have prepared them well for their upcoming encounter against the old foe.
"It is great for the whole group to have experiences like we've had over the last year," he said, adding: "As the captain, you are forced to realign yourself, especially when changes to the to the team occur on a weekly basis.
"I have to fulfil that role of the go-between the coaches and players and make sure they are all aligned. It has become a squad game now especially with the number of players who had been used.
"As the skipper, I just continually try to push myself and in doing so hopefully the boys can follow me and keep going well,"
The All Blacks side underwent huge modifications this week, which included a new-look front row in the shape of newcomers Nepo Laulala and Kane Hames after injuries to stalwarts Owen Franks and Joe Moody.
However, the skipper advised the newbies, not to overwork themselves and just nail the game plan.
"They [the new guys] have been great. They've come in, really excited, plenty of enthusiasm so I'm really looking forward to what they do," he said
"The message for the week has been just about being where they need to be attack and in the scrum. Don't need to try too hard.
"We've got some good experience with Wyatt [Crockett] to come off the bench so he'll bring a calming influence when he comes on,"