All Blacks duo to miss Super Rugby start

Tony Woodcock and Ma’a Nonu will miss the Blues’ first Super Rugby game against the Crusaders.

Blues coach Pat Lam said Woodcock has been ruled out until the fifth round. The All Blacks prop has requested a rest given his problems with injuries over the past year, and Lam has agreed despite the Blues’ lack of depth at prop.

Woodcock will miss matches against the Crusaders, Chiefs, Bulls and Stormers. He will play his first game against the Hurricanes in Round 5.

Meanwhile, Nonu is also set to be rested for the Blues’ first game of the season.

‘We’re preparing as if he won’t be there and if he does come back then we’ll manage that when he is back in our environment,’ said Lam. ‘The key thing here is that everyone on the park is on the same page, so there has to be that transition there. That’s what you have to weigh up because it’s about the team.’

Lam added that while Juan Martin Hernandez has been considered as a flyhalf option at the franchise, the Blues are not in contract talks with Argentinean pivot.