All Blacks legend Kieran Read has opened up about the opponents he found the toughest to face throughout his career.
Speaking to Newstalk ZB while promoting his his new biography ‘Straight 8‘, the powerhouse number eight namechecked two players.
“Probably not too many internationally actually,” he said when asked about his toughest international opponents.
“Certainly when you come up against Jerome Kaino and Jerry Collins when I first came along, that was someone where I was like ‘man this guy is intimidating’.
“Those two probably [are the toughest].”
What’s next for the 34-year-old All Black great after he steps back from professional sport?
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“I’m unsure exactly,” he said. “But I do enjoy sport. I studied towards that and leadership as well. Wellbeing is what I’m interested in. So not necessarily something in sport but something around leadership would be ideal for me. I’m exploring a few different options in that area.”
Regardless of what he does after he retires, Read will be proud to go down as one of the best All Blacks of the modern era – probably something he couldn’t have imagined when he was young.
LIST | 20 internationals out of contract in 2020 including eight England stars
WHICH international rugby players throughout Europe could be available for nothing when their contracts expire at the end of the season?
1. Sergio Parisse (Italy)
According to RUCK sources, the Italy legend could continue his professional career in 2020/21 after London Irish offered him a lucrative one-year contract. Talks between the club and player are thought to be early but have been described as ‘positive’. Parisse left Stade Francais last summer, signing a one-year contract with three-time European champions Toulon.
2. Matt Kvesic (England)
The England flanker has reportedly “agreed a deal” to return to boyhood club Worcester Warriors. Kvesic headed to Gloucester having emerged through the academy at Sixways, before moving to Sandy Park. According to The Rugby Paper, the 27-year-old’s availability has been pounced upon by Worcester director of rugby Alan Solomons.
3. Hadleigh Parkes (Wales)
His international career could be over as he looks set to leave Scarlets to join Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan. The New Zealand-born player qualified on residency grounds after joining Scarlets in 2014.
4. Paul Hill (England)
The Northampton Saints prop is out of contract at the end of the season and is set to depart Franklin’s Gardens. Bath is where he’ll end up, according to The Rugby Paper.
5. Chris Robshaw (England)
Having already announced that he’s leaving Harlequins, it was thought that the former England captain, who win 66 caps between 2008 and 2016, would be heading across the pond to play Major League Rugby. However, with that move under threat, he could end up anywhere.