Rugby Championship: All Blacks prop Tony Woodcock to have shoulder surgery
Last Updated: 08/08/14 9:43am
New Zealand prop Tony Woodcock will miss the entire Rugby Championship series as he needs shoulder surgery.
The 110-Test veteran will be sidelined for around five months and coach Steve Hansen also confirmed lock Dominic Bird will be unavailable for three weeks with a toe problem.
Hansen said Woodcock's injury would allow the 33-year-old to have a proper rest and be fresh for next year's World Cup defence in England.
Every dark cloud has a bit of silver lining and for him it will be an opportunity to do something he hasn't done for 12 seasons, and that's get a good off-season.
Hansen on Woodcock
"Every dark cloud has a bit of silver lining and for him it will be an opportunity to do something he hasn't done for 12 seasons, and that's get a good off-season," he said.
"That will be important because it will freshen him up and he'll be hungry to get into it next year."
Uncapped Joe Moody has been called into the All Blacks squad as a replacement for Woodcock, although it will most likely be Wyatt Crockett replacing him in the starting XV.
Jeremy Thrush comes in for Bird ahead of the tournament opener against Australia on August 16 in Sydney.
Watch coverage of Australia's clash with the All Blacks live on Sky Sports 4 on August 16 from 10:30am.