To win the Rugby World Cup, you need the ball – and the lock’s role of aerial possession is now far more significant to secure the ball for their team.
Many teams are using their own restarts as an attacking weapon, looking to secure the ball inside the opposition half.
To combat this, most teams are forming 4, even 5 pods, to secure the halfway & 22 metre restarts.
The core role of locks is to be dominant in this area and win the battle in the air.
My choice, and most of New Zealand five bob critics would select Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Patrick Tuipulotu & Scott Barrett.
Each of these specialists have all shown outstanding ability in the air, also offering multiple skills around the field with their carrying, defending & even ability to win turnovers.
This has often given New Zealand an edge over teams in the past few years.
There would be few, if any, countries who could name their 4 locks now, this far out from the Rugby World Cup.
I’m confident these players will be there come September.
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