Fans' World XV of the Decade: Who were the best locks of the 2010s?

International
by RUGBY.com.au staff

RUGBY.com.au's World XV of the Decade has settled on a front-row trio and now the all-important second-row spots need to be decided.

Locks are usually the biggest men on the field and the nominees below have the same size stature in the world game.

Who do you think should be voted in as the top lock? Top two vote-getters will go on to be named in the XV.

Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)

A talismanic leader of Wales who debuted in 2006 and now holds the record for most Welsh caps (134), and with Lions appearances, AWJ’s total caps (143) sits second under Richie McCaw most caps in Test history. Lead Wales to Six Nations glory and World Cup semi-finals.

Brodie Retallick (New Zealand)

Became the youngest man to win World Player of the Year in 2014 (aged 23). A 2015 World Cup winner and decorated All Black whose size and skill makes him a World XV choice most years.

Sam Whitelock (New Zealand)

The unassuming but no less impactful All Blacks partner of Retallick, Whitelock was the youngest of eight Kiwi to bring up 100 Tests. Two-time World Cup winner (2011 and 2015).

Maro Itoje (England)

Maro Itoje is in doubt for the SIx Nations. Photo: Getty ImagesThe wonder boy of England rugby who debuted for his country with a bang in 2016, helping the English win the Grand Slam, beat Australia 3-0, and be named European player of the year after Saracens’ European Championship win. Only got better since.

Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)

Massively built and just a little bit crazy, Etzebeth has been the power inside the South African pack in his 85 Tests, since debuting in 2012. World Cup winner in 2019.

Leone Nakarawa (Fiji)

Leone Nakarawa dominated for Fiji at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photo: Getty ImagesFijian superstar who not only been a standout in European 15s rugby and for Fiji in Tests (he was named in the 2015 World Cup dream team), Nakarawa’s skill and pace also saw him pick up an Olympic gold medal in sevens in 2016 in Rio.

Paul O'Connell (Ireland)

The red-haired colossus of Irish rugby, O’Connell was a follow-me leader for Ireland and the Lions in a 115-Test career, and helped, in this decade, to lift the Irish out of mediocrity and into the top tier of world rugby.

Victor Matfield (South Africa)

A Springbok legend who played two of his four World Cups in this decade, Matfield was the ultimate set-piece maestro. Consistently excellent in his 127 Test matches, which places him 10th on the all-time list.