The All Blacks have suffered a blow ahead of the Rugby Championship after it was confirmed that prop Tony Woodcock needs shoulder surgery.
The loosehead prop, who has been capped 110 times by his country, will miss the tournament and has been ruled out for approximately five months.
'Every dark cloud has a bit of silver lining and for him it will be an opportunity to do something he hasn't done for 12 seasons, and that's get a good off-season,' said coach Steve Hansen. 'That will be important because it will freshen him up and he'll be hungry to get into it next year.'
Meanwhile, lock Dominic Bird is also on the sideline but for three weeks and has been replaced by Hurricanes stalwart Jeremy Thrush.
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