Woodock set to hit ground running

The 103-cap Super Rugby veteran dipped his toe in match play with two appearances for the Blues' wider training group and said he enjoyed having that sort of runaround before stepping back onto the big stage.

He chose to take a contract option rest break before getting back into the game. It was mainly for rest and to tidy up some injuries he had been carrying, he said.

He had an elbow complaint which was now 100 percent sorted and the foot he suffered with for much of last season had been niggly for a while, he said, but it was also ready to go.

When asked how much of a concern the foot had been during the World Cup campaign he said, "It was there...but it was pretty good."

While he was taking a break he hadn't shut himself off from the game. He said it was his job and he had been keeping an eye on television coverage.

"I'm feeling fresh and obviously pretty keen to get out there and start playing again," he said.

The Blues have been crying out for the type of leadership the experienced Woodcock can bring to the side's set pieces.

Having assessed the problems the Blues have suffered at scrum and lineout in their four games to date which have produced only one win, Woodcock's assessment was that it was probably a combination of a lot of little things that were occurring.

"If we can tidy up those things it gets some rhythm back into our game," he said.

The lineout situation which has been a significant concern came down to individuals doing their roles effectively, and well, and having confidence in combinations to do that.

Coach Pat Lam welcomed Woodcock's return and also that of lock Liaki Moli. Both players had not travelled to South Africa and would provide much-needed freshness, and their own enthusiasm to the side, he said.