OWEN FRANKS is a powerful front rower whose strength and defensive skills continue to improve each season – a worrying prospects for his opponents.
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.
Many consider the powerful prop to be one of the world's best despite his tender age for a practitioner of the dark arts.
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 has 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.
Owen made his debut for the Crusaders in 2009 when he came on as a substitute against the Force and made his first start in the victory over the Bulls where he made a big impact against the big South Africans.
He made his All Blacks debut just a few months later in front of a home crowd in Christchurch, coming on as a replacement for John Afoa in the 59th minute. His call up to the All Blacks capped a national representative career that includes appearances for New Zealand Under 21 in 2007 and New Zealand Schools in 2005. He earned his first Test start against South Africa at Kings Park Stadium in Durban.
v Italy at Christchurch 2009
2007 v North Harbour
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2009 v Force
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• Following his older brother Ben’s return to the All Blacks in 2010, the Franks brothers became the first set of siblings to start a Test for the All Blacks together since Robin and Zinzan Brooke in 1997 when they started against Ireland in New Plymouth. The Franks' are one of 42 sets of brothers to appear for the All Blacks.