All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock’s 2018 season may have been his most impressive campaign to date.
While his 2018 resume is already incredibly impressive, its made even more impressive after Whitelock revealed to The New Zealand Herald that he has spent the past seven months playing through injury.
“I’ve been dealing with a groin, a stomach tear, so the middle part of the season, I haven’t been able to run as fast as I would like,” Whitelock told the Herald.
“That’s been pretty much hanging round since April and just starting to go away. There was a big chunk of trying to look after that, which compromises training, but I’m feeling pretty good energy-wise.
“It was pretty frustrating not being able to hit top speed for a big chunk of the season but it’s been a great year, a challenging year.
“It’s one of those things as a rugby player. You either have two kinds of injuries: one you can’t play and the other where it just hurts. Being a tight forward, that’s just the way it is. There’s always something that’s sore, and you’ve got to put it to one side and deal with it.”
Whitelock has appeared in all but one test for the All Blacks this year – he was omitted for their clash with Japan – and has played 801 of a possible 880 minutes for the side this year.
Saturday will see Whitelock meet the side he made his international debut against in 2010 when the All Blacks meet Ireland in Dublin.
Since his debut, Whitelock has appeared in 107 tests and is set to bring up 50 starts with second row partner Brodie Retallick this weekend.
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