Mealamu, Woodcock end Super careers
Cape Town - All Blacks stalwarts Keven Mealamu and Tony Woodcock brought the curtain down on their Super Rugby careers on Friday, with both now widely expected to hang up their boots after this year's rugby World Cup in England.
Mealamu and Woodcock, who have yet to officially confirm their post-World Cup plans, have played 123 and 110 tests respectively for the All Blacks.
The 36-year-old Mealamu acknowledged Friday's game against the Otago Highlanders was his last for the Auckland Blues.
"Not the way I wanted to end my Super Rugby career but I have so many great memories from my 15 years," Mealamu said after the 44-7 loss to the Highlanders at Eden Park.
"Overall I have had a great career for the Blues and enjoyed every moment," he added after his 175th Super Rugby match.
"To be able to be here this long I feel really proud and privileged to represent this club for the last 15 years.
"It's something I wanted to do as a kid."
In an email to Reuters, the Auckland Blues also confirmed Woodcock would not be playing Super Rugby next season.
"The important thing... is to honour two great players for the Blues in Keven Mealamu and Tony Woodcock," Kirwan said.
"They are not only outstanding rugby players, but quite outstanding people with 324 Super Rugby games between.
"The performances on and off the field speak for themselves."
The 34-year-old Woodcock, who played 149 games for the Blues and Highlanders, has been beset by shoulder injuries over the past 12 months and has not played since the Blues beat the Bulls 23-18 on May 15.
While he did not play against the Highlanders, he was applauded off the field by his team mates along with Mealamu.
Despite his latest shoulder injury Woodcock is expected to be available for the All Blacks' test against Samoa in Apia on July 8 and then on to the World Cup, the Blues added.