Read relishing start of new All Blacks era

Kieran Read has called on New Zealand to put on a show in their first Test since winning the World Cup when they face Wales at Eden Park on Saturday.

The All Blacks will be looking to make a statement at the start of a new era, with Richie McCaw, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock, Dan Carter, Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith having ended their illustrious international careers.

Legendary captain McCaw retired after New Zealand become the first side to be crowned world champions three times and the only nation to retain the Webb Ellis Cup by beating Australia at Twickenham last October.

Read was given the honour of replacing McCaw as skipper and will lead out a side that is not short of experience in Auckland this week after head coach Steve Hansen named a squad with 720 caps between them.

And the new captain has urged the All Blacks to show what they are made of at the start of the three-match series

"It's about us as a group putting on a performance that we're really proud of and I'm sure we'll do that for the country," said the number eight.

"It feels good, it's pretty exciting. The guys are ready to get out on the field. It's been a long build-up for us, two weeks heading into this game so everyone is itching to get out there, we can't wait.

"The whole group feels a little bit different, naturally, but we know what's ahead of us. It's a Test match come tomorrow night and it's going to be won by inches and us going out there and doing our best so certainly there is a good feel within the group."

Wales have lost their lost 26 matches against New Zealand, with their previous success against the All Blacks coming way back in 1953.

Warren Gatland welcomes captain Sam Warburton back into the starting XV as the head coach plots a shock victory in his homeland.

Cardiff Blues back-rower Warburton has been sidelined with a shoulder injury sustained in April, but has been passed fit to return in place of Dan Lydiate, who has flown home to undergo shoulder surgery.

Alun Wyn Jones is set to win his 100th cap, while Gethin Jenkins, Ken Owens, Bradley Davies and Jonathan Davies are also restored to the side following the defeat to England.

Ardie Savea and Seta Tamanivalu are set to make their New Zealand debuts after being named as replacements.

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