8 Nov 2010

Tialata called into All Blacks as Ben Franks heads home

12:47 pm on 8 November 2010

The Wellington prop Neemia Tialata has been handed an All Blacks lifeline at the expense of the injured Ben Franks who will return to New Zealand after suffering a bulged disc in his back.

The All Blacks Doctor Deb Robinson says 26-year-old Franks had a scan in London this morning which confirmed he had a small disc bulge in his lower back.

Franks was injured while taking part in a stretching session on Saturday.

The All Blacks Coach Graham Henry says it's obviously a huge disappointment for Franks but he understands that it's in his best interests to go home and rehabilitate.

He says Tialata's ability to play both tighthead and loosehead prop makes him the logical replacement.

The 28-year-old Tialata has played 43 Tests for the All Blacks since his debut in 2005 and last played for the All Blacks in against Ireland and Wales in New Zealand in June this year.