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Retallick lauds bullish Chiefs forwards

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/03/2017

Brodie Retallick of the Chiefs during the round two Super Rugby match between the Chiefs and the Blues at Rugby Park on March 3, 2017 in Hamilton, New Zealand. © Phil Walter/Getty Images Brodie Retallick of the Chiefs during the round two Super Rugby match between the Chiefs and the Blues at Rugby Park on March 3, 2017 in Hamilton, New Zealand. The leader of the Chiefs pack has lauded his fellow tight-five members for their indispensable role in the Super Rugby side's unbeaten early campaign.

World Rugby's 2014 player of the year Brodie Retallick hasn't missed a minute as his side toppled the Highlanders, Blues and Hurricanes, and has been encouraged by their strength in depth.

"We're down on locks but we have plenty of loose forwards and over the last few weeks the coaches have given most of those guys a crack," Retallick said.

"For the first time in a couple of years we have had some real competition for positions and that's great for the team.

"We're pretty pleased as a pack but we're only three games in."

The Chiefs will take on the Rebels on Friday as overwhelming favourites after witnessing the Blues and Hurricanes smash them in successive weeks.

Yet Retallick said the Victorian side, which has conceded 127 points in two games, could not be underestimated.

They lost to the Rebels 16-15 on their last visit to Melbourne in 2015.

"With them having the week off we're a bit uncertain about what they're going do exactly with their game plan," Retallick said.

"They have got some really good ball-carrying forwards who are pretty abrasive."

The 60-test All Black is also looking forward to the prospect of matching up against cousin and Rebels lock Culum Retallick.

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