ESPN SCRUM

/ New Zealand

/ News

New Zealand
Kieran Read: poorhouse to penthouse
November 14, 2013
Kieran Read is probably the best No.8 in the world today © Getty Images
Enlarge

2009 All Blacks Monopoly Values

  • Blue properties: Richie McCaw ($400), Mils Muliaina ($350)
  • Green properties: Keven Mealamu ($320), Ali Williams ($300), Dan Carter ($300)
  • Yellow properties: Rodney So'oialo ($280), Joe Rokocoko ($260), Andrew Hore ($260)
  • Red properties: Sitiveni Sivivatu ($240), Ma'a Nonu ($220), Neemia Tialata ($220)
  • Orange properties: Piri Weepu ($200), Brad Thorn ($180), Conrad Smith ($180)
  • Purple properties: Jimmy Cowan ($160), Isaia Toeava ($140), Jerome Kaino ($140)
  • Light blue properties: John Afoa ($120), Anthony Boric ($100), Richard Kahui ($100)
  • Brown properties: Stephen Donald ($60), Kieran Read ($60)

Kieran Read has come a long way from the player ranked last on an All Blacks' Monopoly board, and it was appropriate that he was in Kensington when acknowledging his progress.

Read's status among the world's premier rugby players is obvious in the English media this week, with a host of articles hailing his impact in New Zealand's unbeaten season. And Read is relaxed enough ahead of the Test against England at Twickenham on Saturday to accept his growing importance for the world champions.

"I want to have influence," he said. "Every time I go out on the field I want to hopefully be that man who is the influence in the game and can hopefully make that big play or whatever is needed."

A charity All Blacks edition of the Monopoly board game launched in 2009 didn't rank Read so favourably. The players were allocated streets based on their perceived importance, with Richie McCaw and Mils Muliaina occupying the wealthy blue squares of Mayfair and Park Lane respectively.

The poorest brown squares were given to reserve fly-half Stephen Donald and Read, a relative squad newcomer who was allotted the cheapest of the 22 streets: Old Kent Road.

Kieran Read has moved up in the rugby world from Old Kent Road since 2009 © Getty Images
Enlarge

"I've improved I think, certainly," Read said at the team hotel in Kensington. "I feel like I've grown my game a little bit more and maybe the way we're playing is showcasing that."

Read has been employed regularly out wide this year, with his speed and athleticism making him difficult to contain. But such a role is achievable only if flankers McCaw and Liam Messam perform their core jobs further infield, Read says.

That loose-forward combination - the oldest for New Zealand since Zinzan Brooke, Michael Jones and Mike Brewer played together 18 years ago - has become the heartbeat of the All Blacks' playing style.

"As a trio, it's about making sure you have influence across the park as much as possible and being around the ball all the time," Read said.

Read crossed out wide for his 14th Test try in the win over France in Paris last Saturday, when he played his 59th Test to move one ahead of Brooke and within three of Rodney So'oialo, the most capped All Blacks No.8 in the position and the man he replaced in the back-row.

© AAP

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

    Martinez rules out January spending

    Everton boss Roberto Martinez says he is not planning any major signings in January because he believes his current squad can cope with the demands of domestic and European football

  • Football

    Scunthorpe through after record-breaking shootout

    Miguel Llera's spot-kick brought an end to non-league Worcester City's FA Cup run in extraordinary fashion as Scunthorpe won their second-round replay 14-13 on penalties

  • Rugby

    Launchbury to miss Six Nations

    England lock Joe Launchbury looks set to miss the Six Nations due to neck surgery

  • Football

    Villas-Boas: Returning to England is not in my plans

    Zenit St Petersburg manager Andre Villas-Boas has revealed that Liverpool approached him before he took over as Tottenham head coach in 2012, but says he has no plans to return to the Premier League

  • Rugby

    Matthews foul play case dismissed

    Harlequins lock Charlie Matthews is free to play Newcastle this weekend after the citing complaint against him was dismissed

Sponsored Links
Make $170 in 60 seconds!
Google Vs Facebook, 60 sec. knock out! Choose a champion, Become a Winner!
Make $25 in 1 Minute!
Start trading with the biggest broker! Register now to receive $25 for FREE!