Young Chiefs lock has the size and skills to make the national selectors take notice.

For such a young tight forward Brodie Retallick is making a strong impression for the Chiefs in his debut Super 15 season.

His brief pile of work already signals a possible international career as long as Retallick continues to absorb the lessons he is acquiring and his game develops.

On performance Retallick would be touching up the national selectors now with his aerial clout, ball skills and ability to hit rucks as part of the new wave of Chiefs' forward power. But he does have other locks like teammate Craig Clarke, Jason Eaton, James Broadhurst, Luke Romano and Josh Bekhuis who are pushing for an All Black callup or a return to the colours.


Retallick has the frame at 2.04m and 117kg to stand out but it has been his allround aggression and skills which have filled out the package.

It has been some change for the 20-year-old who left Canterbury after secondary school, moved to Hawkes Bay where the fitness and weight trainers went to work on refining his frame and has now signed on for Bay of Plenty and the Chiefs colours.

"Sometimes I have to pinch myself. It was a bit of a shock at the start when I got picked and I was trying to take it all in my stride," he said.

Retallick mentioned his fortune with coaching, selection and his chance to start for the Chiefs when lock Romana Graham was suspended for the first batch of games this year. He did not mention that he had shut out locking cousin Cullum from the Chiefs who was then picked up by the Highlanders.

But Chiefs forward coach Tom Coventry had no doubts about the younger Retallick's quality or rugby pedigree, which can be linked to All Black uncle John Ashworth.

"He is a big, raw-boned young bloke with an old-fashioned ethic towards tight forward work. Brodie is naturally aggressive, he moves bodies and tackles strongly and has one of the highest workrates in our team," he said.

"It is refreshing and unusual for a young tight forward."

Retallick can take some stick and deliver it too and was in the impressive group of New Zealand under 20 players who claimed the last world title in Argentina.


Now he is making similar strides with the Chiefs.

"Of course this is a step up from what I am used to and it is physical but that is okay," Retallick said.

"I am working hard on being more consistent at the setpiece.

"The lineouts have been going well and because of my height I like to try and dominate."

Coventry said the lock was like many of the younger professional players these days who soaked up tuition and criticism with equal aplomb.

It was a refreshing approach that they were much more open to feedback than players from previous eras.

Retallick and the Chiefs have to regain their snap in Hamilton tomorrow when they return to action after a bye to host the Waratahs. The visitors have a bulky pack and will bring a style that the Chiefs have yet to encounter this year.

All of this is new for Retallick, but so is every one of his outings for the Chiefs.