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Wednesday, 6 March 2013

No. 4/No. 5 - Second Row/Lock Forward

The No. 4 and No. 5 on a rugby union team are called the Locks. They are often referred to as the 'Engine Room' of the team as Locks not only add power to the forward effort but are also known for their work rate. Lock forwards pack down behind the props and hooker to make up the second row of the scrum and this is why they are also known as second row forwards.  

Roles within the team
Locks are the primary jumpers in the lineout. It is their job to secure possession on their own lineout and compete for possession on the opposition lineout. Locks also have an important role in the scrum as they add support and grunt behind the prop forwards. Usually a well balanced second row would include a powerful scrummaging Lock who packs down behind the Tighthead Prop and a Lock more renowned for his lineout prowess. The latter would be the primary target in the lineout and would generally jump as the receiver in the middle of the lineout, while the former would jump at the front of the lineout. In general play, not many locks have become known for their ball-carrying ability as generally they have a high centre of gravity but instead are used to particularly good effect in mauls, as well, as tackling close to rucks. 

Physique
Locks are usually very tall and thin as this makes them more effective and easier to lift in the lineouts, but some locks more known as good scrummagers and are bulky as well as being very tall.

Star Players
Some of the best second row forwards in the world include Victor Matfield of South Africa, Paul O'Connell of Ireland, Richie Gray of Scotland and Joe Launchbury of England.
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