Victor Vito hopes a few coffee dates with the injured Kieran Read will hold the key to him making the New Zealand No.8 jersey his own.
Read's ankle sprain has opened the door for World Cup rookie Vito, with just two Test starts to his name, to claim a run-on position in the All Blacks' opening match against Tonga at Eden Park on September 9.
And the 24-year-old loose forward plans to make the most of the opportunity by taking advice from the man he is expected to replace.
"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."
While All Blacks coach Graham Henry admitted on Saturday that he was praying for Read's speedy recovery, Vito says the benefit of Read's expertise could help him stake his claim as a Test regular.
"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."
With thanks to the IRB's Rugby News Service
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