29 Apr 2019

All Black prop Owen Franks out for another month

5:33 pm on 29 April 2019

All Blacks and Crusaders prop Owen Franks will be month for another sidelined with shoulder injury.

All Black prop Owen Franks.

All Black prop Owen Franks. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The news isn't all bad though with the Super Rugby side confirming he doesn't require surgery.

Franks hasn't played for the table topping Crusaders since their win over the Brumbies on April 6, but the club is confident he'll return near the end of the regular season.

The tighthead prop wrenched his shoulder in the game and then uncharacteristically pulled out of a scrum just before it engaged, saying "nup" and immediately trudged towards the sidelines.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson had said last week that Franks needed a second scan on the injury, which caused some consternation amongst All Blacks fans ahead of the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year.

Franks isn't the only All Black currently out injured, with Liam Squire, Waisake Naholo, Dane Coles and Nehe Milner-Skudder also out of action, while Damian McKenzie has already been ruled out of the World Cup with a serious knee injury.

Franks has earned 106 caps for the All Blacks and was a core member of the side that won the Rugby World Cup in 2011 and 2015.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, however, has capable replacements including Nepo Laulala, who has 17 caps and cemented himself as the first choice when Franks had surgery on his Achilles tendon in 2017.

Ofa Tuungafasi has also played 26 tests for the national side, while the Highlanders' Tyrel Lomax, who made his debut against Japan last year, has been the form tighthead prop among New Zealand's Super Rugby teams this season.

Meanwhile, the Crusaders have rested Sam Whitelock and Ryan Crotty from Friday's clash with South Africa's Sharks in Christchurch, as part of the mandatory stand down from Super Rugby games for All Blacks.