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SAMUEL WHITELOCK epitomises the modern lock: agile, mobile, athletic and a formidable force with ball in hand, and he is also a capable and smart leader.
Whitelock is the most capped All Blacks lock of all time and became the eighth Test centurion in 2018.
He made his Test debut in 2010, scoring two tries. Whitelock played in all seven All Blacks matches at RWC 2011 and again at RWC 2015.
He first captained the side against Wales in Cardiff in 2017, and took the leadership position again in place of an injured Kieran Read for the 2018 Steinlager Series.
Whitelock has captained his Crusaders since 2017, leading the team to their back to back Super Rugby titles. He didn't captain the team during their 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa victory but was a key part of the squad nonetheless.
With regular captain Sam Cane injured, Whitelock was named as captain of the All Blacks for the 2021 Steinlager Series.
As a younger player, he locked for New Zealand Schools in 2005 and 2006, New Zealand Under 19 in 2007 and was part of the 2008 New Zealand Under 20 side that claimed the inaugural Junior World Championship.
His grandfather Nelson Dalzell, great-uncle Allan Elsom and brothers George and Luke have also played for the All Blacks while brother Adam played for the All Blacks Sevens and father Braeden played for Manawatu.