Brodie Retallick All Blacks v England: Brodie Retallick readies for physical challenge on its way

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Brodie Retallick Brodie Retallick on England:'They'e strong ball-carriers and the physicality at ruck is huge.'

MARK BAKER/AP

Brodie Retallick on England: ‘They’e strong ball-carriers and the physicality at ruck is huge.’

Brodie Retallick loses test matches about as often as certain comets appear in the night sky, so it’s understandable that the defeats stick with him. The single setback he had against England certainly does.

The 28-year-old All Blacks lock was reminded about that last loss to England, back in 2012 when Stuart Lancaster’s team thumped the New Zealanders 38-21 at Twickenham, in Tokyo on Monday as preparations were launched for Saturday’s first semifinal of the Rugby World Cup.

That these two great rivals go at it for just the second time in knockout play at the global tournament has everybody excited. Some are even labelling it the true final, after both sides dominated their quarterfinals at the weekend. They are certainly the two form horses, as it were.

Retallick’s record for the All Blacks is truly astounding. Of his 79 tests played, he has lost just four – once each to England, Australia, Ireland and the British and Irish Lions. It is the finest winning ratio in international rugby of anyone who has played 20 or more internationals.

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“I remember the loss pretty well and the one thing that stands out from that game was the physicality they turned up with,” said Retallick as he slung his mind back seven years to that autumnal afternoon at Twickers. “They were just strong ball-carriers and I remember the physicality at ruck time was huge.

“Any team that turns up like that up front and wins that physical battle

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