Ben Franks’ ability to effectively cover both sides of the scrum and to effectively analyse a match and his front row opponents has seen him join a lot of games as an impact player, usually swapping out for his younger brother Owen.
As an All Black, he played a vital part in proceedings in eight Tests in 2011, including four appearances at RWC 2011. He played for New Zealand age grade sides in 2003 and 2005 before he made his All Blacks debut against Munster in 2008 and his Test debut against Ireland in the 2010 Steinlager Series, where he scored a great prop’s try, driving low over the line.
Well-known for his dedication and commitment to training, off the field he owns a chain of gyms with younger brother Owen. The Melbourne-born Franks can play both sides of the scrum but specialises at tighthead.
Before reaching first-class rugby, he played for the New Zealand Under 19 and Under 21 sides (alongside younger brother Owen) and first played for Canterbury in 2005 before transferring to Tasman.
He made his Super Rugby debut in 2006 and has become a regular starter for the Crusaders and formed a reputation as a solid and reliable scrummager.
He was first selected for the All Blacks in 2008, playing against Munster on the end of year tour.
2009 saw Franks miss much of the season with a foot injury but he returned to the All Blacks in 2010 playing in seven Tests before a back injury forced him hom early from the end of year Tour.
Part of a strong Crusaders front row, Franks earned another test callup for the 2011 All Blacks squad to face Fiji and play in the Investec Tri Nations.
A move north from the Crusaders to the Hurricanes in 2013 reaped rewards for him: as well as more game time with the Hurricanes, he was part of the Hawke’s Bay team that captured the Ranfurly Shield last year.
v Ireland at New Plymouth 12/06/10
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2005 v Otago (canterbury)
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2006 v Chiefs
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• Franks is Aranui High School’s first All Black.
• Played in every game for the Crusaders in 2007 and all but one in 2008.
• Played in every game for NZ Under 21 in 2004.
• Was a regular Canterbury age-group representative.