AUCKLAND (Reuters) - Kieran Read has been training without any issues for the last two weeks and the All Blacks skipper says his repaired broken thumb will be able to stand the rigours of the first test against the British and Irish Lions on Saturday.
Read broke his right thumb almost two months ago in South Africa and underwent surgery. He has not played since but the number eight believes his inactivity will not be a factor in Auckland.
“I‘m feeling spot on,” Read told reporters at Eden Park on Friday. “Since we got into camp last week I have been pretty good. I haven’t been worried about the thumb.”
Read also dismissed fears concerning his match fitness, with the 31-year-old having taken part in non-contact training since he suffered the injury.
“The body is in good knick,” Read added. “The emotions and adrenaline will kick in tomorrow and I‘m really pumped for the test match, so I won’t be too worried about myself.”
Read will lead the side in his 98th test match and despite winning two World Cups with the All Blacks, the Canterbury Crusader said the scarcity of Lions tours added an element of the unknown to the opening test.
“It will be hard to prepare exactly for what it will be like because it is a different beast to a World Cup final and other big games I’ve played,” he said.
“The whole history of the Lions isn’t lost on us, we love the opportunity. I just have to prepare as best I can and adapt and adjust to whatever gets thrown our way.”
Editing by John O'Brien