Rugby World Cup
Vito out to learn from crocked Read
ESPNscrum Staff
September 4, 2011
All Blacks replacement Victor Vito runs into traffic, Australia v New Zealand, Tri-Nations, Lang Park, Brisbane, Australia, August 27, 2011
Vito impressed in his limited game time during the Tri-Nations © Getty Images

All Blacks back-row Victor Vito has saught the advice of fellow team-mate Kieran Read ahead of their World Cup opener against Tonga on September 9.

Vito was a surprise call-up in Graham Henry's 30-man squad for the tournament with Chiefs' Liam Messam missing out. And with No.8 Read set to miss the opening games of the competition through an ankle injury, Vito looks set to add to his eight caps. Although he has started just twice for the All Blacks, a back-row of Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw and the Hurricanes' flanker-come-No.8 looks likely to line out against Tonga.

Vito has never worn the No.8 jersey for the All Blacks, but in Read he has the perfect mentor. "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."

"He is a wealth of knowledge and he's been the form No.8 for quite a while now, one of the best in the world. I just have to tag on to him."

Despite Vito wanting to make the back-row berth his own, with Read out and Adam Thomson struggling to make the tournament opener, coach Henry has admitted he is "praying" for the duo's quick return to full fitness.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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