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Read pumped for Soldier Field experience

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/11/2016 Angelo Risso

The sight of the iconic Soldier Field on a sunny autumn day has sent the All Blacks' hearts aflutter, according to skipper Kieran Read.

The world champions will look to secure a 19th straight Test victory with a win against the Irish on Saturday at the Chicago venue, as a second perfect Test season edges closer.

Read, 31, and his teammates have spent much of the week in the Windy City, revelling in the sporting atmosphere as the Cubs won the baseball World Series for the first time in 108 years.

But with the game barely a day away, Read said minds were now focused on the job at hand.

"We've loved the week but turning up today and seeing the stadium, it ignites a few flames in our hearts," the Crusaders No.8 said.

"When we're on the field, it's our business time and we're looking forward to this match."

Head coach Steve Hansen has been forced to shuffle his pack for the match on neutral territory, with veteran blindside Jerome Kaino plugging a hole at lock.

The 33-year-old will line up alongside Patrick Tuipulotu in the second row, with Liam Squire taking his traditional place at blindside.

Read said the chance to try a new locking position had given Kaino a zip in his step.

"His ears are a bit sore this week, a few extra scrummaging sessions to work him out," Read said.

"He's excited by the challenge, he said to me it's his first start in a foreign jersey."

Ireland have also made a few changes for their first Test of the northern season, with fullback Rob Kearney reinstated to the starting XV and Kiwi-born Jared Payne moved to centre.

Read expected the Irish to trouble his side with their structured play and kicking prowess via playmakers Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton.

Defending lineouts against the 210cm Devin Toner would also be a challenge.

"They use their No.9 and No.10 to direct them around the field really well," Read said.

"So we've just got to try and upset that as much as we can on defence, and try not to let them get too much go-forward."

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