World Cup quarter-final is 'real deal' for All Blacks skipper

Kieran Read (Gallo Images)
Kieran Read (Gallo Images)

Tokyo - New Zealand captain Kieran Read said the World Cup was now the "real deal" as it moves into the knockout stage.

The reigning champions reached the last eight after their Pool C clash with Italy in Toyota was cancelled because of Typhoon Hagibis.

Now the All Blacks can look forward to an October 19 quarter-final in Tokyo against the runners-up in a tightly contested Pool A featuring Japan, Ireland and Scotland.

Read, who will retire from Test rugby after the World Cup, told reporters on Sunday: "This is the real deal right now.

"This week if we don't perform we go home," the 33-year-old back row, a veteran of 124 Tests.

"It's the exciting part. The reason we're here is to give ourselves a chance and this is week one of that quest."

Read, reflecting on his squad's experience of the typhoon, said: "I think we were probably a little bit removed from some of the pictures we've seen here at the hotel.

"We really just bunkered down. It was certainly interesting watching out the window what was coming through.

"We just tried to keep ourselves safe, and feel for the Japanese people and the ones affected because it is pretty serious for a lot of people across this country right now."

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