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All Black Brodie Retallick fails to name a single England player

Date
Brodie Retallick and Michael Hooper square up during a Bledisloe Cup encounter last year.

Brodie Retallick and Michael Hooper square up during a Bledisloe Cup encounter last year. Photo: Getty Images

If England's goal was for an anonymous build-up to the first Test against New Zealand on Saturday, it appears to have been a success.

Brodie Retallick, the All Blacks lock, remarkably could not manage to correctly name a single member of Stuart Lancaster's squad yesterday, despite being in the side that crashed to a record defeat at Twickenham in December 2012, New Zealand's sole defeat since winning the World Cup the previous year.

Retallick's gaffe may have inadvertently handed Lancaster the centrepiece of his team talk ahead of Saturday's Test at Eden Park in Auckland with the lock's public declaration of his ignorance of the make-up of the touring party.

Faux pas: Brodie Retallick of the Chiefs and All Blacks.

Faux pas: Brodie Retallick of the Chiefs and All Blacks. Photo: Getty Images

If it appeared to underscore a sense of a lack of knowledge about the northern hemisphere game in the All Blacks camp, it also brought a touch of hilarity to the build-up.

Retallick initially claimed to know "a couple" of members of the England squad but when pressed for a name, he added: "Michael Lawes", presumably a reference to Courtney Lawes, the Northampton lock.

Lawes arrived in Auckland yesterday after starring for Northampton Saints in the Aviva Premiership final victory over Saracens, but he is unavailable for the first Test.

New Zealand remain overwhelming favourites with the bookmakers to open the three-Test tour with a victory on Saturday, despite the loss of No 8 Kieran Read, who has been withdrawn from the game after showing symptoms of concussion.

Read, the International Rugby Board player of the year, played his first game on Saturday since suffering concussion in April, but said he woke up on Monday "not feeling the best". Jerome Kaino or Victor Vito could replace Read, while Steven Luatua has been drafted into their training squad.

Lancaster will name his starting XV tomorrow with Billy Twelvetrees set to be ruled out having failed to train this week as he recovers from an ankle injury.

Kyle Eastmond is expected to take Twelvetrees's place at inside centre despite not playing since April while Freddie Burns is set to start at fly-half ahead of Danny Cipriani with Premiership finalists Owen Farrell and Stephen Myler missing and George Ford ruled out with a shoulder injury.

Meanwhile, Stephen Ferris, the Ulster, Ireland and Lions flanker, insists he is leaving rugby with no regrets after confirming his retirement due to injury.

The Telegraph, London

27 comments so far

  • Talk about a non-story.

    A slip of the tongue from ONE player, and apparently the whole squad doesn't know who plays for England?

    Commenter
    Jackal
    Location
    Tasmania
    Date and time
    June 04, 2014, 9:35AM
    • Hmm, not sure where it says "the whole squad"? Actually it references Retallick the entire way through...

      Commenter
      OzEd
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      June 04, 2014, 11:20AM
    • Retallick could have been a star in a Bond movie.

      Commenter
      johnny-boy
      Date and time
      June 04, 2014, 12:15PM
    • Exactly, thats why they have coaches to tell them what and how to play The players do not need to give a critique of the players on the opposite side. Obviously a slow news cycle.. Does it really matter who they are playing against as long as they know the number 5 on the opposite side can't tackle to his left or the number 8 carries the ball very loosely. Then again it is the Telegraph from London writing the piece, that literary giant, not even a name of the author.

      Commenter
      Taffy
      Location
      Ingleburn
      Date and time
      June 04, 2014, 1:33PM
  • This just proves no one cares about international Thugby, the general public can not name players from England and they are trying to pump up this test match as a close resulto? haha

    Commenter
    paps
    Date and time
    June 04, 2014, 9:59AM
    • Haha please Paps, as oppose to rugbys lessor uglier cousin... Rugby league! Your game has kiwis forgoing national selection to play origin for Christ sake! Rugby World Cup 3rd most watch sporting event, rugby league World Cup haha let's just not go there. Get back in your hole troll

      Commenter
      Truth teller
      Date and time
      June 04, 2014, 6:34PM
    • Really paps - as compared to the thriving international scene in league you mean?

      Commenter
      Shane D
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      June 04, 2014, 7:13PM
    • Ask your mates to name the line up from the Kiwis last test match. Bet you that they won't have a hope & they are the number 2 nation in league. Thats a joke.

      Commenter
      Black
      Date and time
      June 04, 2014, 7:15PM
  • Reminds me of an old joke - what's the difference between people who have tattoos and people who don't?
    People who have tatts don't give a s@$ about the others.
    In this context, for people with tatts, read AB's

    Commenter
    Allan
    Location
    ChCh
    Date and time
    June 04, 2014, 10:48AM
    • How very dare he not know?!

      He must've been focussing on the competition he was actually playing in.

      Commenter
      The cheek of it
      Date and time
      June 04, 2014, 10:51AM

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