Rugby

Great second row Brodie Retallick praised ahead of 100th Test: PlanetRugby

New Zealand forwards coach Jason Ryan says Brodie Retallick is highly regarded by everyone in the setup ahead of the 100th Test of the lock.

The second row are set to make an appearance century when the All Blacks take on England in the Autumn Nations Series on Saturday.

Retallick is considered one of the best locks of his generation and will reach another milestone this weekend in what has already been an incredible career.

Respect

“I’ve always had a great amount of respect, I really do,” Ryan said. “Obviously I have trained against him many times in Super Rugby games and when he is in top form he is a tremendous player.

“He has a lot of respect in the All Blacks group. He demands a lot from the jersey, from the people in the room and from the grass and also from the coaches. It will be a great achievement for the great Guz.”

The 31-year-old has missed the last two All Blacks games after receiving a red card in their 38-31 win over Japan in late October.

He has delayed his milestone and also made life incredibly difficult for Matchday 23 against Wales and Scotland, according to hooker Codie Taylor.

Retallick helped the team prepare for those two tests, but he did so with his usual energy and vigour.

“Well, he’s actually been a real jerk,” Taylor joked. “We have had to go against him in recent weeks.

“In saying that, he has prepared the guys very well and everything is going well, he will have the opportunity this weekend and he will launch.”

Ending the year on a high

After a difficult season for the All Blacks, which began by losing four of their first six games, they hope to end it on a positive note against England.

They bounced back to win the Rugby Championship and have so far beaten Japan, Wales and Scotland on their Northern Hemisphere tour.

“We really don’t have to answer any questions externally,” Taylor added. “As a team we want to get somewhere and the progress we have made is in the right direction.

“New Zealand is a very proud country, and we want to make them proud. But when you’re in this circle, that’s all that matters, and you want to do the jersey justice.”

READ MORE: Codie Taylor shrugs off memories of 2019 as class of 2022 looks to ‘get stuck’ in England

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