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World XV: The enforcers

They are big, tall, heavy and could be the classic schoolyard bullies.

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They are the 'enforcers' and, unfortunately, with all the TV citings and referees watching, their 'braveheart-take-no-nonsense' persona is fading.

Even scrumhalves nowadays 'stand up' to take on locks – all 'handbags' stuff today!

Your locks are a combination.

World XV: The enforcersWorld XV: The enforcersThere is your No.4 lock, the grinder, the jumper in the front of the line-out and in most cases the shorter bulkier 'bully'.

The No.5 lock is the line-out specialist and has a few more 'smarter' skills than just toughness and brawn.

Yes, AussieBoer is ready to hear all the 'critics' saying that you can't compare today's locks with the amateur era. And when it comes to locks, they became 'bigger' of late, for sure.

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Still, Muhammad Ali is reckoned as the best heavyweight ever boxer, even though he was smaller than today's world champion – whomever that may be in the world of boxing's alphabets.

Colin Meads (New Zealand – 1.92m) and Frik du Preez (South Africa 1.89m) are still regarded by some as the world's finest and yes; maybe in the previous century, that was true.

However, today they would be considered too small and more of a blindside flank.

In some cases they are as tall as some openside flanks 'who play on the ground'.

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At No.5 Victor Matfield was up to the 2011 World Cup the best Bok, but also AussieBoer's best ever No.5 lock. He was a genius in the line-outs and his mere presences had the opponents' hooker and jumpers worried.

He could also chip kick and score and have a brilliant rugby brain.

The only more talented No.5, not necessarily better, the Aussies will tell you was John Eales.

The Kiwis will probably disagree and still say Meads or Ian Jones.

The real enforcers, No.4s, are interesting.

Bakkies Botha was the Afrikaner version of Chuck Norris. Yes, Bakkies was also trapped in a woman's body, until his mum gave birth to him. And yes, he was probably the ultimate 'enforcer'. With Matfield, to many the best Bok second row combination ever.

Brodie Retallick and Eben Etzebeth are now the new 'guns', but if one Pom didn't ever take a step backwards, it was Martin Johnson.

Then there was the Irishmen, Willie John McBride.

Johnson and McBride would be captains blazing from the front.

AussieBoer will shock many as he rates Etzebeth as better than Botha, as at this young age he has already the 'presences' and more skills than Botha.

Other great Bok locks includes, Louis Moolman, Krynauw Otto, Schalk Burger snr, Moaner van Heerden and Mark Andrews.

AussieBoer (Kevin D)

@rugby365com

World XV: The enforcers

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