All Blacks expect to tame Lions, says Read


New Zealand will run out to face the British and Irish Lions on Saturday expecting to win the first Test, with no concerns over the pressure they will be under, according to Kieran Read.

After months of hype, the time has come for the world champions and Warren Gatland's men to do battle in the first of three Tests at Eden Park this weekend.

The All Blacks are strong favourites to defeat the tourists in Auckland and captain Read, who will return to action from a broken thumb, said his side are full of confidence that they can live up to expectations.

"There's always pressure on us. We don't mind pressure. Losing would be pretty bad, and any time we lose it's something we don't like," said Read.

"So we're prepared to go out and play our game.

"We know it's going to be a massive challenge, but this group as All Blacks want to take that head on and embrace it. It's an exciting time for us.

"We'll go out there and expect to win, as probably everyone in New Zealand is going to expect us to win. But we've got to actually go out and do that. 

"And that comes through our week, our preparation and the mind-set we turn up with on Saturday."