I thought Kaino has had a very good year actually. He's always had good skills (remember the way he stood up Mat Rogers and beat him on the outside a few years ago?) but lacked consistency. This year I think he's really upped his work rate and his impact on defence is outstanding. Enough for McCaw to publicly praise his defensive work during the Tri Nations.
Read appeals as a workaholic type player who goes all day but without the impact of a Kaino or Messam. On that basis I'd eventually have him at 8 where his workrate can carry on the tidy up work that So'oialo is so good at.
Messam is probably the most dynamic and the best ball player of all 3, his 7's background really stands out there. But given his relative lack of height, we lose a lineout option which Hansen in particular has always had a hard on for. That could eventually count against him for a starting berth.
Eitherway, we have some good young talent at 6 & 8. Now if only we can find someone to back up McCaw...