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Blues lose Woodcock for Reds clash

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Friday, April 27, 2012

AUCKLAND - The struggling Blues suffered a blow ahead of their Super Rugby encounter with the Queensland Reds in Auckland with prop Tony Woodcock ruled out due to a training ground injury.

Woodcock, who has been in fine form since returning from an extended off-season, will miss the match on tonight after straining a calf during lineout practice.

The injury is similar to the one that continues to keep hooker and fellow All Black Keven Mealamu on the sidelines.

Woodcock has been replaced by Tevita Mailau in one of four changes to the 15 that started against the Highlanders, whose win left the Blues at the bottom of the table.

All Blacks halfback Piri Weepu, whose conditioning coach Pat Lam says is continuing to improve, gets the No.9 jersey, setting up a match-up with Wallaby Will Genia.

Daniel Braid returns as blindside flanker to give Chris Lowrey, who has been an ever-present so far this season, a spell on the bench, while Rudi Wulf has recovered from a shoulder problem to go to the left wing.

Blues: Hadleigh Parkes, George Moala, Rene Ranger, Ma'a Nonu, Rudi Wulf, Gareth Anscombe, Piri Weepu, Peter Saili, Luke Braid (capt), Daniel Braid, Filo Paulo, Ali Williams, Charlie Faumuina, Tom McCartney, Tevita Mailau. Res: James Parsons, Pauliasi Manu/Angus Ta'avao, Liaki Moli, Chris Lowrey, Alby Mathewson, Michael Hobbs, Benson Stanley (one to be omitted).


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