Kieran Read has evolved into the first choice number eight for the Crusaders and the All Blacks.
He embodies the ideals of continuous improvement, growing as both a player and a leader with every match he plays.
The New Zealand Player of the Year in 2010, he overcame an ankle injury last year to star in RWC 2011 and is one of the first names pencilled in by the coach of any team he represents.
A natural athlete, he appeared for New Zealand Schools, New Zealand Under 19, New Zealand Under 21 and the Junior All Blacks before making the All Blacks in 2008. He has also represented New Zealand at age-group cricket.He is now considered one of the first All Blacks named, and after another strong season for the Crusaders was selected in the 2011 squad to play Fiji and the Investec Tri Nations.
The Canterbury captain in 2008 and stand-in captain for the Crusaders in 2010, Read began his senior representative career at blindside flanker but is now considered a specialist No 8 for the Crusaders and the All Blacks.
His playing and leadership abilities are such that he has a promising career ahead.
Read has had a rapid rise to the top having represented New Zealand at Schools, Under 19, Under 21 level and Junior All Blacks level.
Just as quickly, he became a vital cog in red and black sides. After making his provincial debut for Canterbury in 2006, he captained them to victory in the 2008 Air New Zealand Cup.
In 2009 Read rose to become the All Blacks first choice number eight, displacing long-serving veteran Rodney So'oialo as the Test number eight. He would go on to play in 13 test matches in the year, and strong form during the 2010 Rebel Sport Super 14 would again ensure his selection in the national side.
v Scotland in Edinburgh 2008
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2006 v Wairarapa Bush
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2007 v Blues
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• Captained Canterbury to Air New Zealand Cup victory in 2008.
• Was recognised as one of the Promising Players of the Year by the 2007 Rugby Almanack and one of the Players of the Year in the 2010 Almanack.
• He has previously represented New Zealand at age-group level in cricket.