Read up for the job
All Blacks number eight Kieran Read will be honoured if given the opportunity to lead New Zealand on their end-of-year tour.
With regular skipper Richie McCaw set to be rested for the world champions' clash with Italy, the captain's armband will more than likely be handed to Read or Dan Carter.
Carter is the current vice-captain of the side, but is unlikely to be given the burden of captaincy along with his playmaking responsibilities.
Read, arguably New Zealand's player of the season, says he wouldn't change the way he played in the black jersey if chosen to lead the team out in Rome.
"I guess if it happened it would be a massive honour for myself and I would really relish the challenge if I got the opportunity," he said.
"I certainly hope (it doesn't become a burden).
"It's all about doing the business on the field and performing the best you can. Being a leader or not I try and do that every game."
The Crusaders star admits the Bledisloe Cup draw against Australia in Brisbane last month - which ended the All Blacks' winning streak at 16 matches - is still playing on their mind and the tourists are keen to make amends.
"I think speaking to a few guys today we are still pretty disappointed from that performance," he said.
"It's just a little bit of extra motivation. We really want to play our game and really play some positive footy and hopefully we will showcase that up there."
"I think we just want to be winning," Read added.
"I guess that is motivation enough for us to do what we need to do.
"Each week our preparation is pretty key to putting a performance on each Saturday so hopefully we can go up there and show those people up north how to play the game of rugby.
"We want to play a really nice style so hopefully we can do that."
The last time the All Blacks dropped a Test on an end-of-year tour in Europe was 10 years ago when England prevailed 31-28 at Twickenham in 2002.