Rugby: The moment Kieran Read thought All Blacks test career was over

Retiring All Blacks captain Kieran Read thought his test career was finished when he left the field during a test against England in 2014.

Read was subbed during the Hamilton test, after suffering a head knock. Knowing full well he'd already suffered several concussion issues that year, he became emotional, thinking he wouldn't wear the black jersey again.

"I [basically] got back to the hotel room and thought that was it," he told The Project's Kanoa Lloyd.

Read broke down for one of the few moments during his great international rugby career, but it was something he needed to do.

"I had that moment with Bridget [wife]," he said. "It was a time where I was very vulnerable.

"It certainly helped once I got it out."

Kieran Read bids farewell to the black jersey.
Kieran Read bids farewell to the black jersey. Photo credit: Reuters

That's when he went to see a psychiatrist.

"Just immediately, it kind of lifts something away from you," Read said. "The help that you can get if you ask is there.

"It's bloody tough to make that first step, but I think once you do, there's [actually] so many things that come off your shoulders and you feel much better for it."

He says talking is important for all New Zealanders.

"We just want to people to be happy," Read said.

Now the 34-year-old will enjoy retirement and savour his stellar test career, which included 52 matches as captain. Some of his peers have labelled him the greatest skipper they've had.