WORLD XV: Read, Parisse, Vunipola? Who is the world’s best Number 8?

4. Kieran Read – New Zealand

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When you’re captain of perhaps the most successful sports team in the world, a lot is expected of you, and Kieran Read is the epitome of what a number 8 should be.

The 2013 IRB Player of the Year, is a totem of New Zealand rugby, and led the world champions impressively during all three Tests. Defied a six-week injury absence to produce a monumental display in the opening Test against the Lions and edged his No. 8 battle with Taulupe Faletau.