Four simple words from his son helped snap All Blacks captain Kieran Read out of his post-World Cup defeat slump.
Speaking to Seven Sharp’s Hilary Barry as he promotes his autobiography Straight 8, Read spoke of his devastation at New Zealand’s semi-final exit at the hands of England.
Hurting in the aftermath of the defeat, he returned to an empty hotel room to birthday cards from his kids, which he forced himself to read.
“It brought a few tears, in a happy sense.”
Some simple words from son Reuben also helped Read, who is taking the family to Japan now his All Blacks career is over, put life in perspective.
“Are you happy, daddy?” he asked.
“To be honest when I’m sitting opposite Reuben and he’s asking that question, yes I am, and it probably took away some of that hurt that you’re feeling.”
Read also spoke about his non-traditional path to the top, turning his back on a scholarship at St Kent’s College in Auckland and returning to Rosehill College.
“If I look at my first XV career with Rosehill College, for me it was just fun. We literally had to scrap together 22 guys to be there on the weekend for our team. We had one rugby team out of 2000 kids at the school,” he said.
“It definitely does [the cream rises to the top]. I don’t think you need to head down that route. Those schools are fantastic and they‘ve got coaching and gyms, but we trained twice a week.
“I probably didn’t know about a gym until my last few months of the year at school in seventh form.
“If you give yourself time and generally work hard at it, you’ll make it.”