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Woodcock to miss Bledisloe test at home ground

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James Mortimer     21 Aug 2012     Getty Images

Woodcock picked up the concern in the All Blacks first test of The Investec Rugby Championship against the Wallabies in Sydney, the World Champions only injury from the match.

The 87-test prop scored the All Blacks only try in the Rugby World Cup Final agaisnt France, and had to overcome a series of niggles during the Investec Super Rugby season, with a calf injury causing him issues towards the backend of the season.

But as Sir Graham Henry stated last year, a sentiment likely repeated by head coach Steve Hansen, Woodcock is the best number one in the country and is an automatic selection.

It is unsure at this stage whether or not Woodcock will be ready for the All Blacks next match, hosting Argentina in Wellington on September 8.

That is the match that All Blacks centre Conrad Smith has pencilled in as his possible return.

The decision to cut Woodcock for this week's selection was made at training today, and Hansen said it was likely that he would be replaced by a specialist, opening the way for Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett.

Another potential option is Ben Franks, but his ability to cover both sides of the scrum may see him remain on the bench.

While losing Woodcock is a blow, the fact that he will likely be available for later matches of The Investec Rugby Championship is a positive - compared to bad news for the Wallabies and Springboks with David Pocock and Bismarck du Plessis ruled out of the tournament.