'You've gotta make it your own' - Luke Whitelock on struggle of keeping Kieran Read out of All Blacks side

All Blacks number eight Luke Whitelock has revealed his mindset during the current series against France, tasked with the almighty job of keeping captain Kieran Read out of the side.

The number eight is filling in at the back of the scrum for the regular captain against France. Source: 1 NEWS

Whitelock, 27, was named at number eight for last week's opening Test against France, as Read continues his return from back surgery at the end of the 2017 season.

Speaking to media in Wellington this afternoon, Whitelock revealed the challenge of deputising for the All Blacks' captain.

Yet to return from back surgery, Read still put in the hard yards this morning. Source: 1 NEWS

"At the end of the day, I've just got to be the best that I can be," he said.

"Obviously Kieran is coming back from an injury, I guess when you do get an opportunity, you've got to try and take it with both hands, and try and make it your own."

Read has been training with the All Blacks during their current camp, hoping to return to Super Rugby for the Crusaders once their season resumes later this month.