Kieran Read has opened up about one of his first encounters with All Blacks legend Richie McCaw.
And although he now looks back on it fondly, the recently retired All Blacks captain said it was a moment he dreaded.
Read was assigned to room with McCaw when he made the Canterbury team for the first time as a 21-year-old.
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Having looked up to McCaw as a schoolkid, Read said the prospect of rooming with the then-All Blacks captain spooked him.
"I remember watching him with my mates at school. We'd come home and watch the All Black games. Absolutely he was a hero of mine," Read told Seven Sharp.
"But as a young fella you're looking through seeing who's rooming with you and then, yeah, I was s******g myself."
Read called time on his All Blacks career after the side finished third at the Rugby World Cup earlier this month and has since been promoting the release of his autobiography Kieran Read: Straight 8.
While speaking about the book, Hilary Barry pointed out how it notes that their shared room became "the quietest hotel room in rugby touring history" with McCaw referred to as "not the most chatty bloke".
Read went on to talk about how he hoped his story, which touches on his schoolboy rugby experiences, would inspire the next generation of players.
"If I look at my first XV career with Rosehill College, for me it was just fun. We literally had to scrap together 22 guys to be there on the weekend for our team," Read said. "We had one rugby team out of 2000 kids at the school.
"If you give yourself time and generally work hard at it, you'll make it."