Farming and World Cup crucial for
James Mortimer 11 Sep 2012 Getty Images
Woodcock felt helping the All Blacks defend their global crown in England was doable.
“I think it's definitely an achievable goal and I think coming down here and freshening up in a new environment will help,” he said.
However other factors came into play, including his friendship with Andrew Hore, with the two a throwback to the classic days when most of the All Blacks were farmers – now the two front rowers are the only such agriculturally focused members of the current squad.
"Andrew has been hounding me the whole time," Woodcock said.
"I like the style the Highlanders play and the way Jamie (Joseph) runs things. He's a straight-up guy and what you see is what you get."
The move down South not only would see Woodcock look to extend his career, but it will be a shift for his entire family, with his two children and wife excited about the move.
"The Highlanders are a change and a new challenge for me. It will hopefully spark me to play longer and my goal is to stay in New Zealand,” he said.
“My family is excited, too.”
Highlanders fans will likely get their chance to see their star signing in action this weekend, as the All Blacks play their maiden test match at Forsyth Barr Stadium – Woodcock’s new home next season.
"Tony is a world-class loosehead prop and his ability and experience will add a huge amount to our squad and leadership,” Joseph said.
“Tony is also a good fit for the Highlanders and I know he is looking forward to moving his family to Dunedin to set up home in the South."
Most popular News:
Crusaders name team for Highlanders22.Jan.2015
Charlie Faumuina re-signs for two years22.Jan.2015
NZ Women’s Sevens Squad for 2015 announced22.Jan.2015
Best "close tackling 12" in England re-signs22.Jan.2015
Full list of Investec 2015 Super Rugby preseason matches22.Jan.2015
Sign up available for Rio 2016 Olympics Sevens tickets22.Jan.2015