Rugby: Woodcock returning to Blues

Tony Woodcock in action for the Blues. Photo / Greg Bowker
Tony Woodcock in action for the Blues. Photo / Greg Bowker

All Black prop Tony Woodcock is returning to the Blues, first reported by the Herald on Sunday, after committing to the franchise for the 2014 Super 15 season.

The most capped All Black prop (104 test caps) and just the second player to reach 100 games for the Blues, 32-year-old Woodcock said he was looking forward to returning to the franchise after playing last season for the Highlanders.

"I'm really looking forward to moving home and being closer to my family," Woodcock said.

"I want to finish off my rugby at the Blues where it all started so I'm excited to head back and re-join the team."

Woodcock was named in the All Blacks starting XV today and will make his 105th test cap against Australia on Saturday.

Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan said he was thrilled to welcome back a player with Woodcock's credentials and vast experience.

"I'm really excited to have Woody back at the Blues," Kirwan said.

"We're trying to build a lasting franchise so we've got a lot of young guys and to have someone with his experience is fantastic. I see him as one of our people - he's had his OE and now he's back so I think he'll add plenty of value to this team."

Woodcock's signing is a third coup for Kirwan with former Tigers standoff Benji Marshall heading to the Blues and former All Blacks Jerome Kaino also returning. All Black second five Ma'a Nonu has also been linked with a return to the Blues.

The 2014 Blues squad will be formally announced on October 30.

- NZ Herald

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