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Quakes no deterrent to Read staying with Crusaders

Published: 8:38AM Saturday June 16, 2012 Source: Fairfax

Kieran Read is eager to re-sign with the Crusaders after his contract expires this year.

All Blacks No 8 Read, arguably one of the world's form loose forwards, is determined to remain in Christchurch, despite earthquake damage playing a role in him shifting house and aftershocks continuing to jolt the city.

The 26-year-old's contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union and the Crusaders ends later this year, but he has no desire to represent another franchise or join World Cup team-mate Jerome Kaino in the search for an offshore club deal.

Read was born in Papakura and raised in the Counties-Manukau region, before being drawn to Canterbury, where he made his first-class debut in 2006. He's confirmed he has begun negotiations to stay.

"I'm really keen. Really keen. It's something that'll be worked out in due course. It's carrying on at the moment."

Read's wife and infant daughter moved to the North Island for several weeks after the February 22 earthquake last year, but he said they never seriously considered shifting out of Christchurch. The recent aftershocks haven't forced them to change their minds.

"We've got to a point, as a family, where we're very comfortable with the situation - with what we are going through and everyone else is going through.

"It doesn't affect me one iota. We're really happy being down here."

Damage to their inner city property in the quake resulted in the Read family renting out their abode and moving to a new property on the northern outskirts. Negotiations with the insurance company on the future of the damaged property are continuing.

"It's probably going to be knocked over when it comes to it, but we're just at that point where we have to wait."

This week's aftershocks have also given the non-Crusaders in the All Blacks squad an insight into what Canterbury residents have been forced to endure.

Some players were shaken awake early on Tuesday. Read acknowledges they must wonder what it's like to live in such circumstances, but he remains optimistic.

"A few of them do think like that [what it must be like to live here]. I guess when they just experience little things like that and don't see the whole picture ... they're just seeing one event. They don't see that the city's going to come out of this really well and there are going to be a lot of positive things in the future."

Although the All Blacks had trained in Christchurch before returning to Auckland for their World Cup pool match against France, this is their first prolonged stay since the earthquakes began.

This week, Read also reviewed the spectacular run he made after latching on to a short, flat kickoff from Dan Carter in the second half of the first test at Eden Park and almost scoring in the corner.

Had he nailed that, it would've ranked among the most memorable long-range tries by an All Blacks forward.

"It is one of those ones that's disappointing when you don't make it, because no-one remembers it now," he laughed.