NEW LEADER: Eighthman Kieran Read will take charge of the All Blacks on the park. Credit: Sourced
Like South Africa, the All Blacks are also entering a new era.

For years it was Richie McCaw who led out the Men in Black.

But on Saturday when they face Wales at Eden Park on Saturday, it will be No.8 Kieran Read who will exit the tunnel first.

And although he has done so in the past, Read knows this time it’s different - it’s a permanent role after the retirement of McCaw.

He tells Sunday Star Times: “I have given it a bit of thought.

“It certainly does change things having the full responsibility. 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 [McCaw]. 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 to 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 trying 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.”