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Ben Kay shouts over instructions in England training
Ben does plenty of talking in the England line

Ben Kay

You've got to have top notch communication skills.

When it comes to deciding who the ball is going to on your throw in a line out, the calls get quite complicated at international level.

If the opposition know your line out calls, then your team will be going into a game where it's easy for your opponents to defend.

Ben Kay beats Robert Sidoli of Wales to a line out
Kay is a master at stealing opposition ball

Some guys find it hard to learn the calls at the start of the week. There are plenty to learn and everyone needs to understand every single call.

It's my job as the leader of the line out to make sure everyone knows the calls.

I do this by discussing each call with all the other forwards, repeating them over and over.

Another thing I always do is study the opponent's line out.

I use video analysis and study their main jumper, their hooker, where they tend to throw when they're at different areas of the pitch.

I try to work out what their favourite tactic is then to try to read their movements.

A lot of what I do is about disguise. I try and con their hooker and jumper into thinking that I'm going do one thing, then doing the other.

But I owe a lot of my success down to the guys that help me most, the hookers, props and back row.

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Scrum-half guide
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No.8 guide
Hooker guide
Line out guide

Ben Kay's top five line out jumpers
Imanol Harinordoquy: France
Martin Johnson: England
Paul O'Connell: Ireland
Ali Williams: New Zealand
Danny Grewcock: England

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He can get up with only one guy lifting him, while other jumpers need two
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Ben Kay
On French star Imanol Harinordoquy

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