Franks withdraws from All Blacks side

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

All Blacks prop Owen Franks has been ruled out of Saturday's second Bledisloe with an achilles injury.

Franks was named to start for New Zealand when the team was announced on Thursday morning, but All Blacks management announced later in the day that the ailment meant he would withdraw from the clash.

The 29-year-old will be replaced in the matchday squad by Crusaders prop Nepo Laulala, while Jerry Toomaga-Allen has been called into the wider New Zealand fold.

Franks' absence means there'll be two new faces in the All Blacks front row, with hooker Dane Coles also returning from concussion. 

Sonny Bill Williams has been named to take on the Wallabies , despite a SANZAAR review into a possible head knock.

Williams appeared dazed after a clash early in the Sydney Test, but was never taken off for a head check, prompting a SANZAAR investigation.

New Zealand medical staff, though, have cleared the centre to play in the second Test with the 32-year-old not presenting any symptoms.

Prop Wyatt Crockett has been ruled out with concussion, replaced by Kane Hames on the bench, while a foot injury has pushed Luke Romano out of the 23, with Scott Barrett coming in.

Damian McKenzie will start at fullback again. Photo: Getty ImagesDamian McKenzie lines up at fullback for the second week in a row, with Israel Dagg still missing despite New Zealand coach Steve Hansen saying last week that he wasn't carrying an injury, rather just being managed as a precaution.

"It's been great to be back home in New Zealand and we've had a great week's preparation here in Dunedin," Hansen said.

"Whilst we were very happy with the way we played for periods of the game in the first Test, there were also moments where we weren't so crash hot. However, this is a new week and we're well aware that we'll have to be better in all areas of our game, and we've concentrated on those areas we want to improve. 

"Once again, a good start will be important."

"Playing under the roof in Dunedin means we should see a high-speed game, which should suit both teams and create an entertaining match that fans won't want to miss.  I know the team itself is looking forward to Saturday as it's another opportunity to grow and develop as a group."

The Wallabies take on the All Blacks in the second Bledisloe Test on Saturday night, kicking off at 5:35pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS.


IN: Kane Hames, Scott Barrett, Dane Coles

OUT: Wyatt Crockett (concussion), Luke Romano (foot), Nathan Harris

All Blacks to face the Wallabies

1. Joe Moody (29)

2. Dane Coles (49)

3. Nepo Laulala (4)

4. Brodie Retallick (65)

5. Samuel Whitelock (89)

6. Liam Squire (10)

7. Sam Cane (45)

8. Kieran Read (101) - Captain

9. Aaron Smith (63)

10. Beauden Barrett (54)

11. Rieko Ioane (6)

12. Sonny Bill Williams (37)

13. Ryan Crotty (28)

14. Ben Smith (63)

15. Damian McKenzie (3)


16. Codie Taylor (20)

17. Kane Hames (1)

18. Ofa Tu'ungafasi (5)

19. Scott Barrett (8)

20. Ardie Savea (17)

21. TJ Perenara (34)

22. Lima Sopoaga (8)

23. Anton Lienert-Brown (14)