His nose was broken only days ago in the rugged encounter against the Highlanders but Kieran Read says he won't let that inconvenience prevent him from representing the All Blacks against the Irish.

Read broke his nose in what he thinks was a head clash in the second half of the Crusaders' 51-18 demolition of their southern neighbours in Christchurch on Friday.

It prompted his departure from the field, but having already missed a match for the Crusaders with a pelvic injury suffered after a frightening fall in a lineout, No8 Read isn't keen on being absent from the All Blacks for the first test in Auckland on Saturday.

"It's just one of those things that happens," said Read, who has never broken his nose before.


"It's a bit tender but [doctor] Deb [Robinson] was able to put it straight back in and it's pretty comfortable at the moment.

"She put it back straight away and I didn't even know she was doing it.

"The old snoz was pretty out there anyway so it will just add a bit more character."

Read is the form No 8 in the country and new coach Steve Hansen will be eager to get his leadership and all-round talents on to Eden Park for the first test.

The 26-year-old, who has played 36 tests, said the Highlanders match was just the thing to get him and the nine other Crusaders All Blacks in the squad in the mood for the Irish.

"It was a really physical game which was great, and the intensity was up there as well. I was definitely feeling it in that first half. It was a perfect hit-out I guess heading into these next few weeks."

Talking of hit-outs, there were plenty over the last round of Super Rugby action which featured two physical New Zealand derbies.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw had a difference of opinion with the hard-charging Jarrad Hoeata and full-blown fisticuffs from Chiefs lock Mike Fitzgerald in last night's (Saturday's) thrilling 41-34 victory over the Blues at Albany resulted in a yellow card.

But McCaw said after today's All Blacks squad announcement in Auckland that it was easy to put any disagreements aside when meeting up in the national team.

"I've always said when you play your mates you always go hammer and tongs and the great thing is all the guys here are good mates and you leave whatever happens out on the field," said McCaw, sporting several stitches in his top lip. "You accept that there's always a bit of tension, especially when one team's not going as well as the other. They're tough old matches, they're as brutal as they get, really. Our game on Friday night was bloody tough but once you're in here, you put all that aside and you just get on with it.

"It's the same as when you play games against other countries too. There's always a bit of niggle but after the game you shake hands and have a laugh about it. That's the great thing about rugby."