Rugby

Read claims McCaw's mantle

2013-10-15 16:00
Kieran Read (Gallo Images)
Sydney - The most feared rugby player in the world is no longer Richie McCaw, but All Blacks teammate Kieran Read, Michael Hooper has said.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald's website, Hooper believes McCaw now has strong competition in the All Blacks' pack in the form of Kieran Read, who is in the form of his life.

Read was man-of-the-match in the All Blacks' epic 38-27 win over South Africa at Ellis Park, demonstrating the player ability to produce brilliant performances at the highest level of the game.

When quizzed about his upcoming encounter with McCaw at openside flank, Hooper chose to focus on Read instead.

''They're both in the same sort of category in terms of what they can do to us and the confidence they bring to the players around them,'' Hooper said.

The Wallabies have revealed that they have specific plans in place for their final Bledisloe encounter against the All Blacks to nullify the All Blacks number 8.

''We've got to shut him down, it's that simple,'' Hooper said.

''Last year and this year the steps he's taken have been incredible and he's really come onto my radar as a great player. His running game is one of his great attributes. Out wide he can really attack those wide channels and we've got to look to nullify that.''

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