Duane: Read best in business

Kieran Read (Gallo Images)
Kieran Read (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen has labelled his All Black counterpart Kieran Read as the best in the world in his position.

Read was handed the All Black captaincy for their Test against South Africa at Eden Park on Saturday, after regular skipper Richie McCaw was ruled out with a knee injury.

Vermeulen, who had a stellar game when the Boks thrashed the Wallabies 38-12 last week, said he is wary of the Crusaders loosie who has played 54 times for his country.

"Kieran read is the best eightman in the world. The All Blacks are also the No 1 team in the world," Vermeulen told Die Burger's website.

The Stormers No 8 also said they took a lot of confidence from their performance last week - when they beat Australia for the first time in Brisbane since 1971.

Sam Cane has stepped in to fill McCaw shoes, and along with Read and Liam Messam they'll form a potent loose trio.

However, with Francois Louw and Willem Alberts alongside him, Vermeulen is confident that they can stand up to the challenge. "The All Blacks' (loose) trio will be tough, but I'm looking forward to it," continued Vermeulen.

Should the Boks win for the first time at Eden Park since 1937 they will also leapfrog the All Blacks at the top of the IRB rankings.

Kick-off is at 09:35 (SA time) on Saturday.


New Zealand:

15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tony Woodcock

Substitutes: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Charles Piutau

South Africa:

15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss , 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Juandré Kruger, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein

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