Woodcock worry for All Blacks
September 6, 2011
All Blacks prop Tony Woodcock could miss his country's opening World Cup fixture through injury © Getty Images
Veteran prop Tony Woodcock has emerged as a doubt for New Zealand's World Cup tournament opener against Tonga on Friday.
Woodock strained his hamstring in training ahead of the Pool A clash in Auckland but All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hansen is optimistic that the 30-year-old loose-head will be available for selection.
"We are hoping he is going to be OK," he said. "He got a bit of a twinge in his hamstring. We are hoping it's just scar tissue from the injury he had a month ago."
Woodcock's World Cup place was in jeopardy after an injury-interrupted Super Rugby season, the result of a mid-foot ligament strain.
Meanwhile, Hansen is also hopeful that Kieran Read will be fit to play some part in New Zealand's final pool assignment, against Canada. However, he insisted that even if that game comes too soon for the No.8, the All Blacks management still feel that Read will still, despite the lack of match practice and sharpness, be capable of playing a big part in their assault on the knockout stages.
"He's world class player and if he's going to be right by Canada or even the quarter-finals it's not much of a gamble," he said.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry
Are the margins between the teams in the Six Nations getting smaller year-on-year? Huw Richards gives some answers