New Blues coach Sir John Kirwan says it's understandable All Blacks veteran Tony Woodcock has opted to play Super Rugby next year for the Highlanders.
Kirwan says it's a shame for the Blues to see Woodcock go, but he understands the reasons behind the 31-year-old prop's decision.
"While he wanted to continue playing rugby and living in New Zealand, he was searching for something new to refresh and invigorate him and his rugby," Kirwan said.
"Of course I'd like to have him stay with us, but after 113 games for the Blues and a decade of commitment, sometimes a change is as good as a rest and I understand and support him in this tough decision."
Woodcock debuted for the Blues in 2002, and was first named an All Black that same year.
He says the call to make the change wasn't easy.
"It's tough to leave the Blues and my teammates, but I've made this decision because I think this is best for me and my family at this time," Woodcock said.