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Read ready to face Canada

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Sportal.co.nz     21 Sep 2011     Getty Images

An ankle injury suffered against Australia in the final Investec Tri Nations test in Brisbane on August 27 threatened to scuttle Read's World Cup aspirations.

But the influential back-rower has remained with the squad with the aim of proving his fitness for the knockout stages by turning out against the Canadians.

Read was all smiles after completing the All Blacks' training session at Linfield Park on Tuesday morning.

"The ankle is coming on really well," he said. "I had a good session today running on it and doing a bit of scrum work and wrestling and stuff like that."

"It's not 100 per cent yet, but I'm working this week to try and get it right come next week so I can have a full training load as I normally would."

"I haven't worked up to full pace, but I'm running straight lines and also doing a little bit of easy stepping – backwards and forwards and sideways and that will increase as the week goes on."

"We need to get it right so I can start next week in a good frame of mind. It's all pointing to it being right but you never know. It's feeling good at the moment and just has to keep improving."

Read, who has played 30 tests since his debut against Scotland three years ago, added that seeing the public's enthusiasm for the tournament had him thirsting to become actively involved.

"It's awesome seeing how the country has got in behind the boys and how we have been playing."

"For myself, I just want to get out on the field and make a difference and help us out. At the moment I'm doing all I can to do that."

Read also believes France, who the All Blacks face on Saturday, had picked their best loose forward trio for the crunch clash in Auckland.

"I think France will play pretty much as they have in this tournament," Read said.

"They'll try and play a pretty heavy style up front as that's where they gain their dominance traditionally in the scrums and the lineouts and that's where we have to be ready to come at them."