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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 February 2007, 17:49 GMT
Brent Cockbain Q&A
Brent Cockbain
Brent Cockbain
Wales lock

Ospreys and Lions second-row Brent Cockbain is in Wales' Six Nations squad.

Although laid low with illness he took a moment to answer some of your questions, including some interesting reaction to his last column.

Do you feel that a modern lock should be able to perform the duties of four and five instead of just being limited to the one position?
Pretorius, 20, Cardiff

Not really, as I think you need balance in a team. It can often depend on the make-up of your back-row, whether you need some extra mobility at lock or go for normal frontline jumpers.

Does Brent think he is providing aspiring young rugby players with a good role model when he talks about cheating and "anything goes in rugby"?
John Biddulph, 50, Midlands

Well not everything goes - obviously foul play is unacceptable. But it is a competitive sport and attracts the most competitive people, so a lot of each game hinges on what you can get away with.

But you have to draw the distinction between the professional side and what everyone else plays, it's almost a completely different game.

I completely agree with your views on "cheating" in the last column. At what age would you consider it appropriate to introduce this concept into mini or youth rugby?
Steve Dawkes, 43, Crowthorne.

I think the onus is on referees at that level to get up to speed with the laws and try to limit that sort of play, they're the guardians and it's those guys who decide how much you can get away with.

Kids turn up at junior level at the weekend, have a bit of fun, have a run around.

You wouldn't have a junior number seven spending the week leading up to the game analysing the opponents and looking at the referee so he can make the most of every opportunity.

Do you think that you should have more right to "sort out" a cheating player from an opposing side, rather than what seems to be happening where players are getting binned or cited for 'shoeing' the offside player?
Tim Flower, 26, Bournemouth

It's a very contentious issue but the safety of the players does have to come first.

It is a real headache for the players, referees and governing bodies how to make rugby a fast, entertaining game but not lose the skill and technicalities of it.

Do you really believe that Kelvin Deaker was okay as the referee in the Wales v Ireland match? I believe every referee makes some errors but, I'm sorry, he made more than a few on the weekend.
Rosie Jones, 16, Hay-on-Wye

He was equally good for both sides and he comes from a different playing environment in New Zealand. Kelvin did alright, he wasn't biased and that's all I ask out of a referee, mostly.

Okay he missed a few things, but it is a very, very difficult job and I certainly wouldn't want to do it.

Refreshingly straightforward column Brent. What type of weights do you do for your position? Do you focus on maximum strength/power or are there other factors such as endurance?
Lisa, 30 , London

It varies over the year, sometimes we do hypertrophy (resistance training) and sometimes we'll just be doing strength and power.

Sometimes we go through 10-week cycles, sometimes four-week depending on the competition or the individual's needs at the time.

Brent, I have heard a rumour that you brew your own beer. Is this a part of you preparation diet for the Six Nations?
Shaun Cooper, 34, Cardiff

No, I haven't been making my own beer. I don't know where that rumour came from!

What's going on over there? When are you going to ring us again?
Matt Cockbain, old, Australia.

Things are good, I'm enjoying myself and enjoying being in the Six Nations. I will speak to you as soon as I get a chance!

I think Gavin Henson should be playing at centre as he offers a bit more of a physical presence than Jamie Robinson or James Hook. What are your thoughts?
Jason Thomas, 32, Llandybie

Jamie and James played very well at the weekend when they were up against world-class opposition.

Maybe they were a little bit stand-offish, but I think they were worried about the blind-side winger coming in and they worked very well as a team.

Gavin's a good player and I'm sure he'll get his opportunity in the Six Nations because it is a highly-contested tournament.


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