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Position guide: Second row (4)
Loose-head propLoose-head propHookerHookerTight-head propTight-head propSecond rowSecond rowSecond rowSecond rowBlind-side flankerBlind-side flankerOpen-side flankerOpen-side flankerNumber 8Scrum-halfScrum-halfNumber 8Fly-halfFly-halfInside centreInside centreOutside centreInside centreRight wingRight wingLeft wingLeft wingFull-backFull-back

Martin Bayfield
By Martin Bayfield
Former England and Lions second row

The basic role of the second row remains the same - to lock and push in the scrum, win line-out ball and secure possession from restarts.

But where the role has developed since my playing days is that second rows have now developed into ball carriers.

They are - because of professionalism - fitter, stronger and more athletic, so they get their hands on the ball to take into contact.

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson was the master as the two-jumper

They've also had to adapt a lot at the line-out because of the introduction of lifting. It's a bit more complex and the days of jumping in your one position are over.

There is a lot of movement and deception these days.

The second row that wears the number four shirt often jumps second in the line-out and is usually slightly shorter and is probably the bulkier of the pair.

Because the ball thrown to the two-jumper gets to him quicker, his is usually a more dynamic and powerful jumper, shooting forward.

He must be very quick off the mark and powerful. Martin Johnson was the master of this.

If you ever wanted to see a perfect example of a number two-jumper excelling, it would be during the Lions tour of Australia in 2001.

Justin Harrison famously pinched the line-out ball off Jonno during the third and final Test when the Lions were parked five metres from the Wallabies line.

There is also a difference at the scrum as well.

You either pack as the loose-head lock on the left side of the scrum, or you pack on the tight-head side, which is on the right.

The number four is more likely to be the tight-head lock.

Most of the pressure from the scrum comes through this side, you need your cornerstone on the tight-head side.

He locks out the scrum, he's the cornerstone and will usually be pretty stationary while applying a lot of the pressure.


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