James Mortimer 14.Sep.2013Getty Images
He was speaking about Dane Coles and Sam Cane, both All Blacks for the future who will play in perhaps their toughest international matches in their short careers.
Coles has been selected ahead of elder statesmen Andrew Hore and Keven Mealamu, winning his 9th Test cap, while Cane steps in for Richie McCaw.
Chiefs flanker Cane, who will play in his 10th Test match, replaces the All Blacks captain who was ruled out for at least five weeks with a knee injury.
While they are the fresh members of the All Blacks pack, they will have experience all around them.
Coles has 150 Tests either side of him thanks to the presence of Tony Woodcock and Owen Franks, while Cane partners up with his Investec Super Rugby captain Liam Messam, with the 23-Test flank getting the nod ahead of Steven Luatua.
Read, who will captain the All Blacks for the fifth time, will win his 55th Test cap, and wasn't worried about the younger players in the side.
"They're young kids who have great heads on their shoulders," he said.
"It's really about them doing their roles and they'll do that."
"They'll step in and do what they need to do."
The All Blacks will look to defend their proud Eden Park record, unbeaten at the ground since 1994, while the Springboks, despite an 18-18 draw in 1994, have not tasted success in Auckland since 1937.
Read said that the record was secondary to the performance.
"We love playing here at Eden Park and it's certainly our home here in New Zealand," he said.
"But it's more about us coming out and performing."
Read, like most All Blacks this week, was well aware of the challenge approaching, but backed the improvement in his team to carry them home.
"Both teams are playing pretty good rugby at the moment, and both camps have got a bit of confidence.
"As a team we know the challenge but we're confident in our abilities and I think we can play a lot better than what we have done."
"They still pride themselves on their set piece and chasing kicks and being physical, and I think it's something they'll continue to do. They've shown they can play with the ball and score tries, which is a threat at well, but we expect them to come at us pretty heavily in the forwards."