Kieran Read has opened up in his new memoir about an early interaction he had with Richie McCaw that left him “s****** himself”.
Read was early in his first-class career with Canterbury when he was picked to room with McCaw, a man who was already captain of the All Blacks despite being just three years Read’s senior.
McCaw was someone that Read admits being in awe of and with the All Blacks captain a famously muted character, Read writes that there wasn’t much conversation in the room.
“I remember watching him with my mates at school. We’d come home and watch the All Black games. Absolutely he was a hero of mine,” Read told Seven Sharp.
“As a young fella you’re looking through seeing who’s rooming with you and then, yeah, I was s******* myself.”
Read hoped his unorthodox rugby journey as a schoolboy could inspire others.
He attended St Kent’s College in Auckland for a year on a scholarship before realising it was not for him and returning to Rosehill College, where he would go on to be head boy.
“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.”
Read also spoke about the ongoing process of getting over the heavy defeat his team suffered against England in the Rugby World Cup and how he thrived in rugby despite being quite sensitive as a child.