Woodcock winning World Cup battle
June 27, 2011
Woodcock has struggled with injuries this season but hopes to be fit for September's World Cup © Getty Images
All Black Tony Woodcock looks set to be fit for September's Rugby World Cup, contrary to reports circulating over the weekend.
Reports in New Zealand suggested that Woodcock was unable to put any weight on the injured foot and went on to say he was losing his battle for fitness ahead of the World Cup on home soil. However, Blues' doctor Stephen Kara has said a stomach illness had kept the prop away from training and not a recurrence of his foot injury.
"He does not need surgery for his current problem," said Kara. "If he continues to have pain in that foot down the track then that [surgery] may be something that is considered at the end of the Rugby World Cup - not prior to that."
Woodcock suffered the mid-foot ligament sprain against the Rebels on April 22 and has missed two months of action. The 74-cap All Black prop will now start running on a treadmill and is expected to return to competitive rugby in the second round of the ITM Cup when Auckland play Otago at Eden Park on Wednesday, July 20.
Woodcock's club side face the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday in the Super Rugby semi-finals. The Blues will be without Anthony Boric for the tie but expect Joe Rokocoko, Rene Ranger and Lachie Munro to all be fit.
The All Blacks meet in Wellington this week, but Woodcock, along with his Blues' teammates and Crusaders players, will not attend it due to the Super Rugby semi-finals. All Blacks coach Graham Henry will then name his squad for the Tri-Nations on July 10.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in all the action from the weekend when rugby united behind Samoa
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton
Wales' lessons to learn in defeat by New Zealand are almost exactly the same as those from previous near-misses, writes Huw Richards
Scrum Sevens takes a wander down memory lane and celebrates seven examples of Pacific Islands magic