Owen Franks is a powerful front rower whose strength and defensive skills continue to improve each season – a worrying prospects for his opponents.
Owen Franks loves the physicality of the scrum, which makes him a dangerous opponent and has earned him a place as one of the best props in the modern era. His impressive strength and scrummaging technique reflects the tremendous effort he puts in at training, not only on the paddock but also in the gym.
He rarely misses a Test, which is testament to his consistency and reliability and makes him one of the most experienced members of the squad (he has missed just 12 matches in seven seasons). Franks played in all seven All Blacks matches at RWC 2011 and six at RWC 2015 and has started the second-highest number of All Blacks Tests at prop (69), behind recently-retired teammate Tony Woodcock (101). In 2016, Owen Franks became the second most capped All Blacks prop of all time and ended the season with 90 Test caps under his belt.
Franks previously pulled on the black jersey for the New Zealand Under 21s (in 2007) and at Secondary School level.
At 21 years and 186 days old, Franks was the third-youngest prop to be selected for the All Blacks, older only than Mark Irwin and Kent Lambert.
He made his debut for the Crusaders in 2009 and All Blacks debut just a few months later. His call up to the All Blacks capped a national representative career that included appearances for New Zealand Under 21 and New Zealand Schools.
He started against Ireland in the first Test of 2010, joining brother Ben in becoming the first set of siblings to start a Test for the All Blacks since the Brookes in 1997.
His call up to the 2011 All Blacks squad came off the back of a stunning Investec Super Rugby season with the Crusaders, where their scrum ruled against every team they played against. Franks then had a big last couple of years, playing a starring role for the Crusaders and then consolidating himself at tighthead prop for the All Blacks.
A self-confessed fan of the physical stuff, Owen's scrummaging ability is excellent but it is his work around the field which catches the eye – particularly his big hits on defence.
v Italy at Christchurch 2009
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