Brodie Retallick is from outer space according to Steve Hansen, who anointed Retallick and Sam Whitelock as the greatest locking combination in All Blacks’ history.
Justin Marshall says Aaron Smith’s ability to fend off rivals for the No.9 jersey throughout his career is testament to how good he is as he prepares to become the most capped All Blacks halfback.
Smith was the best in the world in Marshall’s estimation as he prepares for his 82nd Test, which will take him past Marshall’s current record.
"Nugget’s (Smith) resilience has shown he can get through a very strong period of All Black rugby and achieve a record number of caps for the position which is not easy to do," Marshall said.
"When you think about the competition he’s had to combat, the likes of Andy Ellis, Piri Weepu when he first came in, Jimmy Cowan, TJ Perenara, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, look at all those names."
"To stay as consistent and get the caps as quickly as what he has shows how good he is, in my mind he’s the best in the world and it’s great to have the All Black halfback as the best No.9."
Marshall said he couldn’t think of a more deserving person to overtake his record, but he did joke with Smith that he hadn’t scored as many tries as Marshall, who finished with 24 and Smith currently having dotted down 16 times.
“I said, ‘you still haven’t beaten me for tries’ but that’s simply because you weren’t as greedy as me," Marshall said.