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Retallick and Smith race to 50 Tests

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/06/2016 Daniel Gilhooly
Aaron Smith and Brodie Retallick in action for the All Blacks © Getty Images Aaron Smith and Brodie Retallick in action for the All Blacks

Aaron Smith and Brodie Retallick haven't finished second-best much in their Test careers but they're one week short of achieving a notable record.

Halfback Smith and lock Retallick will both raise 50 caps in the third Test against Wales in Dunedin on Saturday.

The pair will have taken four years and 16 days to hit the milestone, just seven days slower than the All Blacks' record-holder, former fullback Mils Muliaina.

Only one international player has been faster than the three All Blacks. Wallabies flanker Michael Hooper took three years and 142 days to hit 50, during last year's World Cup.

Retallick and Smith both debuted against Ireland at Eden Park on June 9, 2012 and have missed seven Tests each since.

Their careers have coincided with a golden run of All Blacks success.

Retallick has been involved in only two losses and Smith three, with both regarded as among the best in their positions globally.

Retallick will be the 10th lock to achieve 50 Tests, the most of any All Blacks position.

New Zealand becomes the second country after France to produce 50 half-centurions, with outside backs Israel Dagg and Ben Smith having reached the mark in last week's second Test.

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