Jamie Heaslip: Kieran Read the key man for New Zealand
Last Updated: 22/11/13 1:07pm
Kieran Read on the charge for New Zealand
Ireland No 8 Jamie Heaslip says counterpart Kieran Read is the man Ireland must stop in Sunday's match with New Zealand.
Heaslip revealed Australia players advised the Irish to "just mark Kieran Read" during a dinner after last week's match in Dublin.
Read has been in sensational form all year for the All Blacks, arguably eclipsing the great Richie McCaw as New Zealand's most important forward and he is hot favourite to win the IRB Player of the Year award.
Heaslip said: "We were talking to Australia last weekend at the dinner and they said 'just mark Kieran Read'. That is how much of an influence he can have.
"In my book, I would put him and (Italy captain) Sergio Parisse as the best eights out there and Kieran is showing some incredible form right now.
"Kieran's pretty much the full package. He's got great distribution and carrying skills. He's a serious athlete.
"He has been playing some fantastic rugby over the last year-and-a-half, two years. He sets very high standards for himself."