With the majority of 2014 over and done with we look at the top 10 locks this year and rank them in descending order…
2014 has been the year in which Jonny Gray has started to outshine his brother Richie at times in the Scotland shirt. He was particularly effective during the end of year internationals & has a bright future.
Matfield’s return to the test arena has been a welcome boost for the Springboks who are now touting him as a potential captain at the World Cup due to the injury to Jean de Villiers.
The loss of Launchbury in the November Internationals was a huge loss to England as he and Lawes form a formidable second row partnership for England.
After a turbulent year or two Richie Gray seems to be getting back to the form that saw him become one of the hottest properties in European rugby not so long ago.
Whitelock may have been somewhat outshone by his All Blacks colleague Brodie Rettalick this year, however that shouldn’t take away from just how important he has been for Steve Hansen’s side.
5.Alun Wyn Jones
2014 has been far from a vintage year for Warren Gatland’s Wales, however one of the few players to have come out of it with extra credit in the bank is Alun Wyn Jones who has been key.
It seems like Paul O’Connell just keeps getting better with age. The Irish lock has been in rampant form for club and country over the last 12 months and will be a key man to Irish hopes at the World Cup.
Lawes has done a lot of maturing over the last couple of years and as such has become one of the first names on the England team sheet after a series of stand out performances for the Red Rose.
Had Etzebeth not struggled with injuries for large parts of the last 12 months there’s no doubt that he would have run Brodie Rettalick much closer, however is it is he’s still had a pretty impressive season.
Such has been the influence of Rettalick for club and country in 2014 he was recently voted the World Rugby Player of the Year. The All Blacks will be hoping he can maintain his form into the World Cup.
Who do you think has been the best lock in the world during 2014?