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John Eales and Martin Johnson compete at a lineout

Photo: Getty Images

Locks, or second row forwards are key ball winners, especially in the contest for lineout possession.  As the tallest members of the side they are often the central target at the lineout, pairing good jumping skills with proficiency at catching the ball under pressure.  Ability to claim possession one-handed, over their back, or out in front is essential for a lock.

In the scrum, second rows are the link between the front and back row forwards, responsible for the effectiveness of the scrum as a unit.  Solid body position allows for an optimum drive and channels back row power to the props.

Also, as powerful and rangy individuals, they should be hard to tackle, capable of putting in big hits, and play an important role gathering restarts.

Practices should include:

  • Scrummaging –individually, with fellow lock, then front three and back row, focusing on body position for dynamic drive, flat back and power through legs
  • Lineout – jumping skills, going forwards, backwards and straight up
  • Lineout ­­– catching the ball in the air, both one and two handed
  • Handling – hand sports like basketball are useful for developing the dexterity needed 

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