All Black Vito seeks Read's advice

(Rugby News Service) Sunday 4 September 2011
All Black Vito seeks Read's advice
Victor Vito hopes to make the number 8 jersey his own

AUCKLAND, 4 Sept. - Victor Vito hopes coffee dates with the injured Kieran Read hold the key to him making the New Zealand number 8 jersey his own.

Read's ankle sprain has opened the door for rookie Vito, with just two Test starts to his name, to claim a run-on position in the All Blacks' opening match against Tonga at Eden Park on 9 September.

And the 24-year-old loose forward plans to make the most of the opportunity by taking advice from the man he is expected to replace.

"I will be having a chat over coffee and talking about the talent and the smarts he brings," Vito said.

"There's always a responsibility when you put on this jersey, but I don't want to be a caretaker. I want to add to it."

While All Blacks coach Graham Henry admitted on Saturday that he was praying for Read's speedy recovery, Vito says the benefit of Read's expertise could help him stake his claim as a Test regular.

"He is a wealth of knowledge and he's been the form number 8 for quite a while now, one of the best in the world. I just have to tag on to him."

RNS eds/aa/mj/sg