TODAY |

Kieran Read says young wingers need to 'back themselves' under Bledisloe Cup spotlight


Back yourselves, that's the advice being given to rookie All Blacks wingers by captain Kieran Read ahead of tomorrow night's clash against the Wallabies at Eden Park.

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George Bridge and Sevu Reece will be thrust into the action at Eden Park in place of more experienced teammates. Source: 1 NEWS

With both Ben Smith and Rieko Ioane dropped following the 47-26 defeat in Perth last week, 24-year old George Bridge and 22-year old Sevu Reece have been given the nod to start on the wings, both hoping to translate their outstanding Super Rugby form to Test level.

With Bridge playing just his third Test, and Reece his second, coach Steve Hansen is placing his faith in the two youngsters, the All Blacks needing a win to stop the Wallabies taking hold of the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2002.

Speaking after his side's captain's run this afternoon though, Read made it clear that Bridge and Reece both have the backing of the All Blacks to get the job done tomorrow night.

"They're super excited," Read told media.

"They're young guys that don't carry too much baggage, and just want to go out there and play footy.

"They've done the job at Super [Rugby] level, and the opportunity is massive for them. I know they're pretty calm and clear. They're looking forward to it."

As for any advice the captain would give to two of his more inexperienced charges?

"Just keep backing themselves. That's where we need to be as a team, back our abilities to play footy.

"Those two blokes will certainly run hard if they get the chance, that's basically it across the board."

The All Blacks face the Wallabies at Eden Park tomorrow night.