Retallick prepared for young Bok duo

Date published: October 23 2015

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Brodie Retallick heaped praise on South African lock duo Eben Etzebeth and Lood de Jager ahead of their World Cup semi-final at Twickenham on Saturday.

The All Black lock praised the youngsters for filling the power vacuum left by Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield, the latter of which has been nursing a hamstring strain but starts on the Bench on Saturday.

"You see what Eben has done over the last few years and DJ has come through and taken over from Victor especially around lineout time," said the 24-year-old.

"They're both aggressive players and like the rest of their forward pack they love the physical confrontation. Since their loss to Japan that's the way they're playing so it's what we'll expect. It's what they're telling us to expect so we're going to be up for it.

"They don't tend to try and run around you, they like to run over the top. In terms of that front-on one-on-one contact, the Springboks are the most physical team.

"They like to try and get on top of you and it's not much fun when you're going backwards. That'll be the challenge for us – to try and stop them and hopefully turnover a bit of pill so we can let our backs loose.

"They maul a lot of their line-outs and try and hold a lot of their scrum ball in so it's all about that brute force."

Retallick burst onto the Super Rugby scene for the Chiefs in February 2012, where his barnstorming performances lead to an All Black debut in June.

The Rangiora native revealed that he has tried to model his career on being a Jack-of-all-trades, as opposed to either a line-out tactician or the traditional 'enforcer'. 

"When I started out I didn't want to be seen as one or the other," said the 2014 World Rugby Player of the Year.

"You look at Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield they had different specific roles within their team. I wanted to try and nail all of it and have an all-round game. That's something that's always been in the back of my mind – to be able to front and do the physical stuff, but then play with the ball out in the open."

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