Read adds to All Blacks' leadership legacy

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Read, who spent some post-game moments with his young family on the field, said it had been a great day and he had tried to make sure he stayed in the moment to enjoy it to the fullest. He had been able to rid himself of the emotions he felt at the start of the week and Friday had just been about process and he wanted to come out and soak up and enjoy the occasion.

 

"I just love playing with this team and my teammates and at the end to have your family come out and share a bit of a special moment was great and I'll hold these memories for a long time," he said.

 

It would take some time to get over the 2019 World Cup but he would and would have fond memories of it as well, he said.

 

Read said the All Blacks had special memories of the tournament being staged in Japan. From the moment they stepped off the plane two months earlier they had so much support from the Japanese people. The team's apparel supplier Adidas had run out of All Blacks jerseys twice so popular had they been.

 

"I'm looking forward to coming back here and I just hope this game continues to grow. We've seen how good Japan were in the World Cup so if they keep working hard and getting themselves sorted out they're going to be a real threat to world rugby," he said.

 

Assistant coach Ian Foster said it had been a special experience working with Hansen. He had been incredibly demanding on the group. The expectations had always been high but that was always coupled with a massive degree of compassion and empathy for the individual.

 

"When you get that mix right you get a formula that's pretty special and the fact the guys can put their hand up and say they're struggling and know they can get help with that but they also know they can get a boot up the bum if they cross the line. It's that blend that Steve brings and he brought it beautifully into this group.

 

"To all of us as a management team, there's been a massive drive behind the standard that we've been chasing.

 

"I can't say anything higher than he's added to a legacy that means a lot to him and he's added his own special little chapter," he said.

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