New Zealand prop Owen Franks to miss rest of season with Achilles injury
Last Updated: 04/09/17 10:55am
New Zealand prop Owen Franks has been ruled out of the remainder of the year with an Achilles problem.
The two-time World Cup winner was a late withdrawal from the All Blacks squad for their thrilling win over Australia in Dunedin last month and having already been sidelined for the remainder of the Rugby Championship, the 29-year-old has opted to undergo surgery on Friday.
"It's better to let him get it right and let him get back into some good recovery and a pre-season and we'll see when he gets back for the Crusaders," said New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen.
"We will see how the operation goes first and foremost and then go from there."
Franks' absence hands rookie Nepo Laulala an opportunity to secure a full-time Test role, having given a good account of himself when he replaced Franks against Australia.
Three other injured All Blacks have been cleared to face Argentina in New Plymouth on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Action from 8am.
Sam Cane, Ryan Crotty and Wyatt Crockett have recovered from head knocks while uncapped Blues forward Blake Gibson could be in line for his Test debut as Matt Todd is nursing a hand injury.
"It came down to Blake and the two Otago boys, James Lentjies and Dillon Hunt but we just felt we would look at Blake this week and get some better information on him," said Hansen.
"You can watch as many games as you like but having him in your training environment is good. We will, in time, probably have a look at the other two as well."
Winger Waisake Naholo will miss the Pumas Test following a head knock he picked up in provincial rugby. His only appearance for the All Blacks so far this year was in the second British and Irish Lions Test.
New Zealand are bidding for their third successive win in this season's Rugby Championship after opening with back-to-back victories over the Wallabies.