Season over for Owen Franks

The Rugby Championship
by AAP

All Blacks prop Owen Franks will undergo achilles surgery, ruling him out of rugby for the rest of the year.

In an extensive injury update ahead of Saturday's Rugby Championship Test against Argentina in New Plymouth, New Zealand coach Steve Hansen said Franks would have an operation on Friday.

The 95-Test tighthead needed to take action to remedy an injury that has dogged him for some time, Hansen said.

The 29-year-old played the opening Rugby Championships Test win over Australia in Sydney in pain and sat out the return Test win in Dunedin.

His absence will shine a spotlight on New Zealand's depth in the specialist role.

Nepo Laulala made a fine starting debut in the 35-29 win in Dunedin while Ofa Tu'ungafasi came off the bench in both Bledisloe Cup Tests.

Winger Waisake Naholo, who didn't play in either Test against Australia, has been ruled out after suffering a head knock during an NPC match for Taranaki.

There was brighter news for three senior All Blacks, who have all been cleared to play after suffering head knocks.

Flanker Sam Cane and inside centre Ryan Crotty were both replaced during the Dunedin Test while Wyatt Crocket endured the same fate in Sydney a week earlier.

There is still some uncertainty over Cane, prompting Hansen to promote uncapped Blues flanker Blake Gibson into the squad as injury cover.

Seasoned openside Matt Todd was unavailable to back up Cane and Ardie Savea as he injured his wrist playing for Canterbury in the NPC.