Whitelock and Retallick set to bring up special milestone at Twickenham

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The 12th All Blacks centurion, Retallick and the 142-Test cap Whitelock will complete their 64th Test together, surpassing the South African duo of Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha.

"Those two players were two I looked up to, and saw a lot of, when I was younger and it will be cool to say we have done that as well."

Retallick said he had seen nine of the 11 All Blacks to have played 100 Tests achieve their feat during his career, and he realised how special the moment was for the players and their families.

Injuries in the second half of his career meant the mark hadn't come around as fast as his first 50 Tests, but he was proud to be still in the side and representing New Zealand.

He will share the occasion with England five-eighths Owen Farrell, who he had played against several times, including the World Under-20 Cup final.

"He's an awesome competitor and a smart footballer."

The secret of his combination with Whitelock was that when Retallick first came into the side, he was always trying to push Whitelock and be competitive. Whitelock, a World Cup winner in 2011, had been in the side for three or four years, and he was trying to take his jersey.

"In hindsight, we've played a lot together and it's a relationship I cherish, and we spend a lot of time together. I'm pretty relaxed and he likes to nail his homework and he's a farmer and hunter. I don't really do much of that these days but we definitely get on."

Twickenham was one of the tougher venues to play rugby. Playing there was also memorable due to the atmosphere created by the 80,000-plus crowd. Having been at Cardiff and Edinburgh for the two previous weeks, it was something the players enjoyed.

The season was one where, after the Ireland series, the All Blacks had never been during his career. He felt they had come out of that and were building. They were still looking for more consistency, and it would be a good challenge to come up against a big England pack and a skilled team to see where they were at for the last game of the year.

Retallick said not a lot changed when fellow lock Scott Barrett was playing on the blindside of the scrum. He did a lot of work around their lineout, especially defensively.

"We're looking to put it all together and finish our year on a high."


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