Smith disagrees with this, as he believes high-quality international back-rowers
like Vunipola and Hughes have transferrable skills.
8s yet the Tongan-born back-rowers
bring different qualities to the party.
Farrell, 22, has also signed a contract extension at Wigan until the end of 2018, but sees his current opportunities there limited by four England back-rowers
Quite simply, we had five back-rowers
who worked hard and performed exceptionally well in the matches leading up to the Rugby World Cup and throughout the tournament itself, and they were rightfully selected on form.
During his time on the sidelines, Ukuma Ta'ai has produced his best form since arriving at Huddersfield 18 months ago, while fellow back-rowers
Jason Chan, Michael Lawrence and Chris Bailey have also played significant roles in a run of four straight top-flight triumphs.
There will be no such travel problems this weekend and Rodley, having served his ban for that tip tackle, will be just one of several back-rowers
jostling to see if their name has been included on the team sheet pinned to the inside of the changing room door.
Among those absent are locks Victor Matfield (calf and neck) and Bakkies Botha (knee), back-rowers
Schalk Burger (thumb) and Juan Smith (Achilles), wing Bryan Habana (shoulder), scrum-half Fourie du Preez (knee) and centre Jaque Fourie (groin).
Andy Saull and Ernst Joubert bring bulk and brain to the breakdown area.
Both sides fielded three regional players apiece - fly-half Ceiron Thomas plus back-rowers
Rob McCusker and Nathan Thomas for the homeside, whilst the visitors had hooker Steve Jones plus back-rowers
Dan Lydiate and Lewis Evans.
Wasps have handled the absence of between four and seven internationals, plus an injury list comprising three centres, two back-rowers
, lock James Gaskell and scrum half Joe Simpson well enough to record their first away wins in living memory at Northampton and Saracens.
The 21-year old from Aberbargoed was brought to the Ospreys at the end of October on an emergency loan after the Ospreys lost seven back-rowers
through injury or international call-ups, and has made a positive impact in his three appearances for the region to date.
With just Jake Heenan, George Naoupu and Mata Fifita - a recently converted centre - as fit back-rowers
, Lam faces a selection headache.