Berliner TageBlatt - All Blacks' Retallick relishing winning 100th cap against 'smart' Farrell'

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All Blacks' Retallick relishing winning 100th cap against 'smart' Farrell'
All Blacks' Retallick relishing winning 100th cap against 'smart' Farrell' / Foto: © AFP

All Blacks' Retallick relishing winning 100th cap against 'smart' Farrell'

New Zealand's Brodie Retallick and England's Owen Farrell are both set to win a 100th cap for their respective countries at Twickenham on Saturday, with the All Blacks' lock looking forward to renewing a longstanding rivalry.


The pair, both now aged 31, first played against each other in the 2011 Under-20 World Cup final in Padova, Italy, which New Zealand won 33-20.

But it was a different story when the senior sides last met, with fly-half turned centre Farrell the victorious captain as England won 19-7 in a 2019 World Cup-semi-final in Yokohama, Japan against Retallick's New Zealand.

"Owen, I guess he's in a similar spot," Barrett told reporters at New Zealand's hotel in London on Thursday

"He's an awesome competitor and the way he's played for England, he's a smart footballer."

Retallick will become just the 12th player to win 100 senior caps for New Zealand.

"I've probably been around for nine, so I have seen how special it is and how cool a moment it is, not only for the player but their family so I'm looking forward to it," he said.

Saturday's match will also see Retallick and fellow lock Sam Whitelock, the New Zealand captain, pack down for a record 64th time, surpassing the previous second row mark held by South Africa’s Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield.

"They were two players I looked up to and I saw a lot of when I was younger. It will be pretty cool to say we've done that as well," said Retallick.

- 'Rollercoaster' -

He returns to Test duty this weekend, having missed New Zealand's recent wins over Wales and Scotland following a two-week ban imposed after he was sent off for charging into a ruck during a 38-31 win over Japan in Tokyo last month

"Post-Thursday training has turned into a long weekend because you don't get the game on a Saturday or a Sunday," he said.

"The time has dragged but I'm definitely looking forward to getting back out there and having the cherry at the end of a week of playing a Test match."

Saturday's match is only the third Test between England and New Zealand since 2014 and the first at Twickenham since the All Blacks won 16-15 four years ago.

"When you have 80,000 plus people and they are all singing and cheering, then you've got the intensity of playing against England, it's definitely a special place to play," said Retallick of Twickenham.

"There's been a bit of a break. I guess that adds to the occasion."

This weekend's encounter is also the All Blacks' final Test of 2022, with next year's World Cup in France now in sight.

One more defeat and this would be New Zealand's worst calendar year since 1998,when they lost five matches.

The All Blacks have lost this year to Ireland (twice), South Africa and Argentina.

"I've described it before as a bit of a rollercoaster," said Retallick. "If you look back to June and post the Irish series, that's somewhere I've never been in my career in terms of how the team was going.

"But I think we've come out the other side and we are building, we've put some performances together.

"We're still looking for a little bit of consistency. But it's the perfect challenge to come up against a big England pack and a skilled team to see where we are really at for the last game of the year."