Friday 23 March 2018

Read calls for huge All Black showing in Paris as McKinley prepares to make his Italy debut


New Zealand skipper Kieran Read. Photo: Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images
New Zealand skipper Kieran Read. Photo: Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

New Zealand captain Kieran Read has called on his side to deliver a complete performance in Paris this evening which is a worrying prospect for a French team that features four debutants.

The All Blacks warmed up for their first Test of the month with a win over Barbarians last week and after some patchy displays in the Rugby Championship, Read is demanding that his players step it up a notch against France.

"We want to go out there and play really well," said Read.

"We haven't had a great performance for 80 minutes since the middle of the championship (in Albany).

"Our main objective is to go out there and play well. You're not necessarily going to score heaps of tries or blow teams off the park, but you've got to have a really good attitude. If we can do that I'm sure we'll do well."

Meanwhile, Ian McKinley admitted that he was surprised when he got the call from Conor O'Shea as the Dubliner gets set to make his international debut for Italy this afternoon when they host Fiji.

Joe Schmidt will be a keen observer before Fiji arrive in Dublin next week and for McKinley, who starts on the bench, it will be a hugely emotional occasion as he caps a remarkable journey after losing the sight in his left eye six years ago.

Gregor Townsend has named an all-Glasgow back-line for his first home game in charge of Scotland.

Samoa are the visitors to Murrayfield and Townsend has opted to pick plenty of the players who he worked with in his time in charge of Glasgow.

"Joe Schmidt's first Ireland team had 11 or 12 Leinster players. So there are advantages, especially if it's your first game, because these players don't need much coaching," the former out-half explained.

Elsewhere, Australia are looking to extend their unbeaten streak against Wales.

Scotland v Samoa

Live, BBC 1/ BT Sport 1 2.30

Wales v Australia,

Live, BBC 2, 5.15

Irish Independent

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