BreakiNg tHe mould
Brodie re tallick has redef ined t he second- row role and t hat ’s why f or mer england f ly- half St uar t Barnes believes t he all Black is t he best player in t he world
How do you define ‘greatness’ in rugby union? To play 100 Test matches for the All Blacks? Given their dominance of the sport, this seems a fair enough criteria. Only nine men have managed it. That’s endurance at the very highest level. Captain Kieran Read joined the illustrious club in 2017 and a second-row made it to three figures this year.
Sam Whitelock led New Zealand out against Australia in the opening game of the 2018 Rugby Championship.
And that’s about as much as any of us remember of him. Bar family and friends, the lasting memory was of his second-row mate, Brodie Retallick.
Whitelock, well, as ever he was good, very good. But Retallick, he was great. None of this woolly notion of greatness for a couple of tries or kicks. This was the real thing. A truly complete performance from the 27-year-old.