24 Brodie Re­tal­lick [2012-] CAPS 64

NZ Rugby World - - Brand Standing -

Brodie Re­tal­lick has re­de­fined the po­si­tion of lock. He is a huge man – 2.04m and 122kg – yet he’s been able to play like a loose for­ward when he car­ries the ball and a first-five when he moves it.

He is a modern day ver­sion of Colin Meads – just as rugged, ath­letic and un­com­pro­mis­ing. Re­tal­lick has been a huge in­flu­ence in the six sea­sons he’s been an All Black.

More of­ten than not he has been the All Blacks’ best player. More of­ten than not it has been his abil­ity to carry the ball hard up the mid­dle of the field, run­ning over the top of de­fend­ers, that has made all the di er­ence.

Any young New Zealan­der want­ing to play lock at the high­est level can look at Re­tal­lick and see where they need to get to.

They have to be able to carry the ball hard. They have to tackle with venom. They have to be able to get around the field. They have to be able to win li­ne­out ball, scrum­mage and if they want to be on the same page as Re­tal­lick, then they have to learn to pass and catch as well.

Just how in­flu­en­tial Re­tal­lick has been was con­firmed in 2014 when he be­came the first tight for­ward to be crowned World Player of the Year.

The panel had never ven­tured down that road be­fore – pre­fer­ring in­stead to re­ward the higher pro­file, more ob­vi­ous per­form­ers in the backs or loose for­wards.

But Re­tal­lick’s in­flu­ence in 2014 was too great to be ig­nored. He did too much to miss out so he be­came the log­i­cal choice and in be­ing deemed to be the best player on the planet that year, he con­firmed his po­ten­tial to go on to es­tab­lish a legacy as one of the great­est All Blacks in his­tory.

A few months af­ter be­ing named World Player of the Year, Re­tal­lick was o ered a huge deal to stay in New Zealand un­til 2019 which he took, lead­ing Chiefs coach Dave Ren­nie to say, “He’s a top man whose con­tri­bu­tion has been world class for us both on and o the field. He sets high stan­dards, is a leader and highly com­pet­i­tive in na­ture.

“While his set-piece play and skill set are im­pres­sive it’s his work ethic that is phe­nom­e­nal. He has been the glue for us, a man whose grunt work al­lows oth­ers to shine. It’s this at­ti­tude that saw him crowned the 2014 World Rugby player of the year.”

NEW GROUND Brodie Re­tal­lick was the first and only tight for­ward to be named World Player of the Year.

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