Read plans to be himself, not McCaw

Date published: June 4 2016

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Kieran Read has already led the All Blacks nine times, but next Saturday will be slightly different following the retirement of Richie McCaw.

Now installed as the new permanent New Zealand captain, Read is fully aware of the pressure on his shoulders.

Before his role was very much in a caretaker capacity until McCaw returned. Now it's all his own, and having been around McCaw for so many years and enjoyed phenomenal success in the back row alongside one of the game's greatest ever players, he's ready to put his own stamp on leading the All Blacks moving forward.

"I have given it a bit of thought. It certainly does change things having the full responsibility," Read told Sunday Star Times.

"It was great to captain the side previously but it was just for that one week and then you'd step back out.

"I learnt a lot from Richie. When I first came in I looked up to him after watching him on TV then you become peers and grow together.

"It was a really good time but from now I want to be my own person. I can't try emulate what he's done. I've just got to be Kieran Read. I've got subtle differences to him – I've certainly got to play as well as he did on the field and lead through my actions.

"I like growing people and try to get that individual touch with a lot of the lads to get as much out of them as I can. That's how I like to lead."

Read and New Zealand take on Wales in the first of three Tests on June 11 at Eden Park.

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