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Read talks up Wallabies


Read talks up 'respect' for Wallabies and highlights areas of concern

Captain Kieran Read insists New Zealand’s experience and quality will only tell against Australia if they are guarded against complacency.

The All Blacks begin their defence of the Rugby Championship in Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup opener, with Read’s side favourites once more in 2018.

But the skipper has noted the Wallabies’ progress and acknowledges New Zealand will not have it all their own way at ANZ Stadium, encouraging his team-mates to be wary of Australia’s threat.

“Experience does count for a lot in terms getting into tight situations and you’ve been there and done that,” Read said at Friday’s Captain’s Run. “We’ve got to use that to our advantage.”

“But what we can’t do is think it’s just going to happen for us. We’ve got to work hard from the outset and across the board and try to find our rhythm as quickly as we can.

“This is a big game. It’s rightly being spoken of very highly. We respect that, we respect what they’re building towards and know it’s going to be a hell of a game. We know they’re building a team that’s hungry.

“The [Michael] Hoopers, [Bernard] Foleys, [Kurtley] Beales, [Israel] Folaus, they’re absolutely outstanding players. We’ve got to be wary of them.

“They showed a lot of emphasis [in June] on working really hard as a forward pack as well, D-ing up really strongly and putting pressure on in the maul. They’ve got real strengths across the board.”

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Read talks up 'respect' for Wallabies and highlights areas of concern