Woodcock's World Cup over

Getty Images     11 Oct 2015     Getty Images

The 34-year-old loosehead prop, who was widely expected to retire after the tournament, limped off Newcastle St James Park in the weekend’s 47-9 win over Tonga.

Coach Steve Hansen confirmed the injury would take at least three weeks to heal meaning Woodcock would be replaced in the squad by Canterbury’s Joe Moody.

“It's not a great way for a great player to play his last test match if he's going to retire so it is disappointing for him, but sport's like that, it can be quite cruel.”

With 118 tests to his name Woodcock will be sorely missed in the finals of this tournament and beyond by the All Blacks.

Hansen described him as an unsung hero of the side.

"Woody just got better and better and he's been a great player. He's a very mobile footballer and a skilled rugby player.

"He can reflect on his career at some point when he's ready to do that with a lot of satisfaction and New Zealanders can be very proud of him.” Hansen said.

Woodcock will have the option to return home to be with his family or stay on and support the team who have now relocated to Swansea ahead of next weekend’s quarter final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

There they will face the loser of Monday morning’s pool D decider between France and Ireland.