The most-capped All Blacks prop and a Super Rugby centurion, Tony Woodcock’s experience, rugged scrummaging and professionalism are the gold standard for international front rowers.
A serious shoulder injury meant that Woodcock missed most of the 2014 season and he returned to Super Rugby in 2015 raring to go. Injury again disrupted his season but when he did appear, it was with all of trademark his skill and strength.
The sheep and dairy farmer and family man has played for North Harbour since 2000 and for the Blues since 2003, where his strength and versatility have been prized assets. He has been a feature in national teams including New Zealand Under 16, Under 19 and Under 21 as well as the New Zealand Barbarians.
While his reputation is built on strong scrummaging and hard graft, Woodcock is a mobile prop with good ball skills who can break out when presented with an open field.
He has been a feature in national teams since he played for New Zealand Under 16 in 1997, chalking up appearances for New Zealand Under 19, New Zealand Under 21 and the New Zealand Barbarians along the way. He was one of six members of New Zealand's Junior World Cup winning Under-19 side from Wales in 1999 to make the All Blacks - alongside Jerry Collins, Aaron Mauger, Richie McCaw, Mils Muliaina and Bradley Mika.
The workhorse forward became the first choice All Blacks prop, with many commentators around the world noting that Woodcock was arguably become the best loosehead prop in world rugby.
In 2008 he became the first All Blacks prop in over a half century to score a double against the Wallabies.
23/11/2002 v Wales at Cardiff
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2000 v Waikato
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2002 v Hurricanes
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• First propped the Blues scrum at just 20 years of age, played for a remarkable three New Zealand Under 21 teams, and made his All Blacks debut shortly before his 22nd birthday.
• Has been a mainstay in the All Blacks front row since 2003.
• His absence with the All Blacks for the first two games of the 2004 Air New Zealand NPC prevented his playing every game for North Harbour between 2001–2004. He did not miss a minute in 2002 or 2003.