MX23RW : Friday, September 21 08:38:37

Kieran Read prepared for "big battle"

Kieran Read prepared for
© PA Photos
Kieran Read warns his New Zealand teammates that this weekend's final against France will be a "big battle".

New Zealand number eight Kieran Read believes that his side will face a "big battle" during Sunday's World Cup final against France.

The Kiwis have already defeated the French in the competition and are favourites with the bookmakers to end their 24-year wait to win the tournament.

However, Read has warned his teammates that it may not be a straightforward outcome.

"It is going to be a big battle for us," said the 25-year-old. "I think the French back row has been outstanding. They have been defensively very strong, and they've also got a lot of options in their lineout with Bonnaire and Harinordoquy.

"So it's definitely a big challenge for us that as a group we are pretty excited about coming up against.

"I don't think we can really compare too much with a final of this magnitude, to be honest. I think it's exciting and you cannot just really rely on it being another week."

The French have named an unchanged lineup for the final.

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