New Zealand Rugby mourns the loss of Arthur Woods     11 Oct 2015

Generally known as Arthur, Woods was born on 5 August 1929 in Winton, Southland. He was a hooker, who played all his provincial rugby for Southland and made his All Blacks debut in 1953 against Southern Counties in Hove, while on tour of the United Kingdom, France and North America.

"It is with sadness that we mark the passing of Charles Arthur Woods," said New Zealand Rugby Chairman Brent Impey.

"Arthur and his important contributions to the game as a player, All Black, coach and administrator, will be remembered fondly across New Zealand and in particular by the Southland community. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time."

Woods began playing first class rugby in 1951 and played six seasons for Southland, from the Limehills club. He was from a farming background and worked as farm manager at the time he earned All Blacks selection.

He played 14 matches for the All Blacks during the 1953-54 tour, which saw the All Blacks offshore from October to March and was the first world-wide air tour by a representative team, with flights replacing month-long sea voyages. The younger Ron Hemi was the All Blacks starting Test hooker at that time but the two men were described as having a great friendship on tour, training together.

Woods' only points for the All Blacks came from a conversion against Victoria, while in Canada. Bob Scott was the team's regular kicker in that match but the decision to allow Woods to take a shot from in front was a popular one with the team.

Although not required again for the All Blacks after that tour, Woods continued to play first class rugby until 1956, playing for the South Island in 1954 and playing in another two trial matches for the All Blacks in 1956 after a strong showing for Southland against the Springboks. Upon hanging up his boots Woods remained involved with rugby, including coaching in his club and serving Central Southland as a selector.

For more information, view Arthur Woods' profile on