The sense that Kieran Read is timing his run to peak for the pointy end of the Rugby World Cup will make many feel uneasy about how quickly they wrote off the All Blacks captain.

Not so long ago, as he gradually returned from back surgery last year, Read was, supposedly, a spent force.

While there’s no doubt Read didn’t immediately produce the consistency demanded during his comeback, a lack of appreciation persists about the seriousness of the work needed to repair a bulging disk that left him immobilised, in chronic pain and, ultimately, threatened his career.

“It just takes