Wellington: All Blacks captain Kieran Read is likely to quit international rugby after next year’s World Cup in Japan and take a contract overseas, the loose forward said.
Read, who turned 33 last week, will line up for his third World Cup next year after helping the All Blacks raise the Webb Ellis trophy in 2011 and 2015.
“So for me I think it probably won’t be in New Zealand,” Read told New Zealand media of his post-Japan plans.
“We have always thought as a family that we would like to go overseas and use that experience for the kids. That is probably the main option at the moment.
“(Retirement) is an option as well,” he added. “There are plenty of options out there but I probably want to keep playing if I can. It is the experience for the kids that will be the main thing and it has to work for us as a family.
“I hope to have (plans) wrapped up before the start of (next) season because then you can give 100 per cent because you know what you will be doing.” Read and most first-choice All Blacks are being rested for the match against Japan later on Saturday, with number eight Luke Whitelock to lead the side against the Brave Blossoms.
The All Blacks head to Twickenham next week to meet Eddie Jones’s England before wrapping up their season with away tests against Ireland and Italy.
Fly-half Richie Mo’unga, meanwhile, sparked a second-string All Blacks side to a 69-31 victory over plucky Japan in Tokyo on Saturday.
Mo’unga scored a try and went eight-from-nine with the boot in a sparkling 22-point display for the world champions, who ran in 10 tries against the 2019 World Cup hosts.
Ngani Laumape bagged a hat-trick of tries, while George Bridge marked his All Blacks debut with a pair after coming on at the start of the second half.
But New Zealand, resting their big-hitters for November Tests away to England, Ireland and Italy, were given a workout by Japan watched by a crowd of 43,000.
The Brave Blossoms scored five tries of their own — including the game’s first, run in by Samuela Anise after just three minutes to stun the visitors.
Hooker Dane Coles marked his return after a year out with a knee injury by grabbing New Zealand’s first try to settle nerves among a new-look All Blacks side.
The World Cup holders scored quickfire tries as Mo’unga dived over before Laumape latched on to a clever kick from Waisake Naholo to race clear.
Hendrik Tui kept Japan in touch with a controversial effort but Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi and Laumape punched through to extend New Zealand’s advantage.