TODAY |

Whitelock and 'outer space' Retallick the best All Black locking combo ever, Hansen says

Brodie Retallick is an alien, according to Steve Hansen, who anointed Retallick and Sam Whitelock as probably the greatest locking combination in All Blacks’ history. Source: 1 NEWS

Brodie Retallick and Samuel Whitelock will set a new record for an All Blacks locking combination, with both named to start in their 50th Test together against Ireland on Sunday.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen praised Retallick and Whitelock, saying the pair are likely the best locking combo in the history of the black jersey.

"I think they are probably the best one we've had, you know they complement each other really well," said Hansen.

"I know there has been a lot of talk of Sammy being a bit tired this year but he will get a good break next year and I think you will see the true Sammy next year.

"When they are both on form they are pretty both special players."

Whitelock made his Test debut for the All Blacks in 2010 against Ireland in New Plymouth and scored two tries.

In 2012, Retallick made his Test debut against Ireland in Auckland, partnering up with Whitelock.

"Retallick is one from outer space and Sammy is not far behind him, quite often gets missed of how good Sam Whitelock is because of how good Brodie Retallick is," said Hansen.

"I think they are right up there but I'm probably a bit biased.

"They are both good line-out forwards, so that gives you a one-two punch in the line-out. Both are good scrummagers and they can both play."