Tony Woodcock (rugby player)
|Birth name||Tony Dale Woodcock|
|Date of birth||27 January 1981|
|Place of birth||Helensville, New Zealand|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||120 kg (265 lb)|
|Rugby union career|
Tony Dale Woodcock MNZM (born 27 January 1981) is a New Zealand former rugby union player. His position was loosehead prop, and he played 111 tests for the New Zealand national team, the All Blacks. Woodcock played for the All Blacks from 2002 to 2015, scoring eight test tries. He was described by The Dominion Post as "widely regarded as the world's premier loosehead", and by The New Zealand Herald as having the "best range of skills of any prop on the planet". He is now the most capped All Black prop of all time, and is the second most capped player in Blues history, behind Keven Mealamu. He was a key member of the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup winning squads, becoming one of only twenty dual Rugby World Cup winners.
After 113 appearances for the Blues, he joined the Highlanders for the 2013 Super Rugby season. However about a year later, after spending a year with the Highlanders who came 2nd to last in Super Rugby, Woodcock decided to return to the Blues where he would be closer to his family. He signed a 1-year contract. Woodcock has a reputation for playing as much rugby as possible. In 2005 he played in the first eleven of the twelve All Black test matches that year. From 2001 to 2004, he played in every match for North Harbour, except for the first two matches of 2004 due to being on All Black duty, and in 2002 and 2003, he played the full eighty minutes of every game for North Harbour. In 2006, he requested and received permission from the All Black coaching staff to return a week early from his enforced rest due to All Black duty, to play in North Harbour's Ranfurly Shield challenge against Canterbury, a match that North Harbour won 21–17, making them the Ranfurly Shield holders for the first time.
Woodcock made his international debut for New Zealand on 23 November 2002 when he started against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Woodcock was one of six debutants that day and started alongside Blues teammates Keven Mealamu and Daniel Braid, the former of whom would go on to become a long-serving front-row partner to Woodcock. Woodcock played the full 80 minutes, something rare for a prop and the All Blacks beat Wales 43-17.
Woodcock did not play for the All Blacks again until 2004, a year when he started three times. Woodcock became a regular starter for New Zealand in 2005, starting in all three historic tests against the touring British and Irish Lions team, with the All Blacks failing to lose in all of those tests. Woodcock started in 10 of his 11 international appearances in 2005, and made 10 appearances for the All Blacks in 2006.
He was the first All Black prop to score a test try against Australia in 20 years, when he scored the first try of his international career on 30 June 2007 against Australia in a 15-20 loss and another try against Australia the following week, when the All Blacks won 26-12. After his performances through the year, Woodcock was selected for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Woodcock made started in four of his three appearances in the competition, the most notable being when he played the full 80 minutes of New Zealand's shock 18-20 loss to France in the quarter-final of the World Cup, eliminating them for the competition.
Woodcock was retained in the All Blacks in 2008 and on 2 August 2008, he became the first All Black prop to score two tries in a match (a rare feat for a prop against any side) against Australia in over 50 years. He had a heavy workload for the All Blacks in 2008, playing 12 tests for them that year.
Woodcock celebrated his 50th test to kick off his 2009 international rugby season, but it was unfortunately spoiled by losing 22-27 on the occasion, against France in Dunedin.
He scored New Zealand's only try in the 2011 Rugby World Cup Final against France, becoming the first All Black prop to score a try in a Rugby World Cup final, and only the second prop ever to do so.
He received his 100th cap for the All Blacks in a test match in Wellington against Australia on 24 August 2013. Woodcock was not subbed off, with replacement prop Wyatt Crockett instead replacing Sam Whitelock in the 27-15 win over Australia.
Woodcock was named in the 31-man squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, where he scored a try in a 47-9 victory against Tonga in the final pool match of the competition on 9 October. His 118 test-match career in rugby union unfortunately ended in the same match, when he was injured and replaced by Wyatt Crockett in the 43rd minute. Joe Moody was subsequently flown over to England from New Zealand, in order to replace Woodcock, who remained in the country and collected his winners' medal following New Zealand's 31-17 victory in the final against Australia's Wallabies.
|1||Australia||Melbourne, Australia,||Melbourne Cricket Ground,||2007 Tri Nations Series||30 June 2007||Lost|
|2||Australia||Auckland, New Zealand||Eden Park||2007 Tri Nations Series||21 July 2007||Won|
|3||Australia||Auckland, New Zealand||Eden Park||2008 Tri Nations Series||2 August 2008||Won|
|4||Australia||Auckland, New Zealand||Eden Park||2008 Tri Nations Series||2 August 2008||Won|
|5||Australia||Brisbane, Australia||Lang Park||2008 Tri Nations Series||13 September 2008||Won|
|6||South Africa||Auckland, New Zealand||Eden Park||2010 Tri Nations Series||10 July 2010||Won|
|7||South Africa||Johannesburg, South Africa||Soccer City||2010 Tri Nations Series||21 August 2010||Won|
|8||France||Auckland, New Zealand||Eden Park||2011 Rugby World Cup||23 October 2011||Won|
|9||Wales||Cardiff, Wales||Millennium Stadium||2012 End of Year Tour||25 November 2012||Won|
|10||Tonga||Newcastle, England||St James' Park||2015 Rugby World Cup||9 October 2015||Won|
- Gray, Wynne (3 August 2008). "Wynne Gray: Double cause to celebrate, and sexy to boot". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
- "Woodcock quietly confident". The Dominion Post. 4 July 2008. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
- Paul, Gregor (24 December 2006). "Gregor Paul: Rugby's world XV". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
- "Woodcock leaves Blues for Highlanders". Blues. 9 September 2012. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
- Murray, Scott (23 October 2011). "Rugby World Cup final: New Zealand v France – as it happened". Guardian. UK. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
- "New Year honours list 2016". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- Gray, Wynne (4 June 2004). "The farmers in the front row". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 February 2010.