Read backing new faces to step up

Date published: October 1 2016

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New Zealand captain Kieran Read expects new faces in the All Blacks side to face Argentina to hit the ground running.

Liam Squire earns a first start at blindside flanker in Buenos Aires, with Damian McKenzie set to make his Test debut from the bench.

Anton Leinert-Brown, TJ Perenara and Patrick Tuipulotu are all new faces in the starting XV as well but Read placed an emphasis on the All Blacks' success being based on their cohesion as a squad, as opposed to just 15 or 23 players.

"It's a different thing I guess, turning up and starting a Test match so a lot of these guys are really itching at the bit to get out there and really contribute to this team," Read told the New Zealand Herald.

"We're a squad now of 32 and anyone who steps into the team just has to perform their role and that's all we ask of them."

Squire has won four caps as a replacement this year and Read has high expectations for the Highlanders' Super Rugby-winning back-row forward.

"He's got some great skills and he's a physical beast as well to be honest," Read added.

"Certainly once he lets some things happen he can put on some great hits on defence. He's got all the benchmarks of a really quality test player."

The New Zealand captain also spoke highly of los Pumas, who pushed the All Blacks close in the two teams previous meeting in the Rugby Championship earlier this year.

"This Argentinian side is pretty damn good; they're very impressive so far in the Championship," he said.

"At home they are a different beast so we're looking forward to a big challenge."

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