Tony Woodcock makes long awaited return to the field

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Tony Woodcock scoring the only try in the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup Final.

All Black and Blues prop Tony Woodcock will make his long awaited return to the rugby field tonight, playing for the Blues Development team in their final match of the Pacific Rugby Cup against the Fiji Warriors at Bell Park, Pakuranga.

The 83 Test veteran has not played since the 2011 Rugby World Cup final, when he scored the only try of the match.

Development Coach Jeff Wilson said Woodcock is eager to get on the field.

“You can tell by his attitude that he can’t wait to get out there and get some game time. It’s also a great opportunity for the younger guys to play with someone of his experience,” said Wilson.

Woodcock is set to join the Blues when they return from South Africa next week.

The Blues Development line up has a number of changes to that which beat Tonga A, 40-3 last Friday night.

Midfielder Francis Saili has been called up alongside Ben Lam and Hadleigh Parkes to join the Blues in South Africa, leaving the Development team light on backs.

Wilson said he is extremely grateful to have experienced players Jack McPhee and Aaron Bancroft join the squad for tonight’s match.

The Fiji Warriors are the strongest of the touring teams in the Pacific Rugby Cup and recorded a win against the Crusader Knights last weekend.

Blues Development v Fiji Warriors

Pacific Rugby Cup

Tuesday 13 March 2012, kick-off 7pm

Bell Park, Pakuranga United Rugby Club

The team is:

1.             Tony Woodcock

2.             James Parsons (captain)

3.             Ofa Tu’ungafasi

4.             Liaki Moli

5.             Nathan Hughes

6.             Steven Luatua

7.             Sean Polwart

8.             Cam Goodhue

9.             Wayne Ngaluafe

10.          James Semple

11.          Nafi Tuitavake

12.          Corey Aporo

13.          Malakai Fekitoa

14.          Junior Tofa Va’a

15.          Jack McPhee

16.          Manu Leiataua

17.          Matt Wallace

18.          Irwin Finau

19.          Daniel Pryor

20.          Bryn Hall

21.          Michigan Lam

22.          Aaron Bancroft

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