Wellington - All Blacks prop Tony Woodcock will miss the first month of the Super 15 rugby tournament to recover fully from injuries which hampered his 2011 season.
Woodcock asked Blues coach Pat Lam to allow him to sit out the Blues' first four matches in the hope of being fully fit for the remainder of the tournament which runs from Feb. 24 to Aug. 4, with a break for internationals.
Lam said he reluctantly agreed and loosehead prop Woodcock will miss matches against the Crusaders, the Chiefs and Bulls and Stormers. His first match is likely to be against the Hurricanes on March 23.
Lam said "while it's a challenge, I'm happy with it because at the end of the day, if a player's not ready to go, he's not ready to go."