Read asks younger side to lift for Pumas

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Lynn McConnell     08 Sep 2017     Getty Images

While there may be a gulf between the sides on the World Rugby rankings table, All Blacks captain Kieran Read said at his captain's run at Yarrow Stadium that he took no notice of the world rankings. 
The history of the Championship showed they had been tough opponents for New Zealand. They were unpredictable and had players with experience in Super Rugby and at Test level so they were a dangerous side, he said.

Added to that the All Blacks this week had fewer of their leadership group than usual out on the field so those selected had to step up and do their job for the entire squad. It wasn't just to make Read's job easier but he said it was important for people to step up at different times and contribute to the puzzle of what they could on Saturday night.

Read said the threat from Argentina was spread across the field now. Their ball carriers and loose forwards were among the best in the world and their backs, on their day, could be dangerous on the counter attack.

"We've just got to adapt to what they bring and alongside that is a scrum and a maul. They're a dangerous side and they've certainly got better playing in this Championship and that is what we want in world rugby," he said.

The All Blacks had plenty to work on with incomplete performances in both their Tests against Australia. They were looking for more complete performances, and more consistency throughout their game.

They had trained very well during the week.

"We've got a bunch of men who are pretty excited by the challenge of what the Argentinians present and we've just got to go out and play as well as we can. The opposition will dictate that as well so we'll just turn up and adapt to what they bring," he said.

He had been working in with his two newer loose forward partners who are starting the Test, Ardie Savea and Vaea Fifita. They had been together during the campaign and he was delighted to see Fifita stepping up this week.

"He's a pretty quiet guy but he's really energetic and knowledgeable about the game and he's asking me plenty of questions. He's ready to go. Ardie is obviously a special talent," he said.

While there had been a lot of talk about Fifita's individual skills, Read said he didn't have to show them on Saturday, he just needed to do the things that came naturally, get the ball in his hands, carry hard and make some big tackles which would made everyone happy.

"It's not all just going to come out tomorrow night, he's got things to learn so it's an awesome start for him," he said.