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Ben Kay's guide to the second row
Around the Academy:

Ben Kay lines up for England
Ben Kay spends plenty of time in the air

Ben Kay

If you want to be a top class second row, you mustn't be scared by heights.

During a line out, you're up in the air a long way, around 13 feet off the ground, when you're catching a ball.

You're up in the air hundreds of times a week, so you need to have a lot of faith in the guys lifting you up there.

I can't really think about if I'm going to land safely, all I'm thinking about is catching the ball coming in.

Ben Kay in action in a line out against New Zealand
How's the air up there?

You need to have good hand/eye co-ordination to be a successful line out jumper.

Hookers tend to throw the ball in quite quickly, but you also have to deal with the opposition who'll be doing their best to put you off catching the ball.

You don't have to be tall to be a line out jumper, but it does help.

There aren't too many second rows under 6ft 4in in modern rugby now.

There was a time when the big guys were dominating, but those days are now gone.

If you're slightly shorter, you make up for your height with your speed across the field.

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Ben Kay facts
Date of Birth: 14 December 1975
Place of Birth: Liverpool
Height: 6ft 6in
Weight: 17.7 st
Club: Leicester Tigers
Position: Second row
England debut: 2 Jun 2001 against Canada

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