Ben Franks' big chance to impress Hammett

TOBY ROBSON
Last updated 05:00 08/02/2013
Ben Franks
KIRK HARGREAVES/Fairfax NZ
BETTER MANAGEMENT: Ben Franks says Drug Free Sport NZ needs to specifically outline which products can be used.

Relevant offers

Super Rugby

Super Rugby will miss All Blacks for first round Dave Rennie on the hunt for another halfback Chiefs snap up Bryce Heem and Sean Polwart Move to Taranaki pays off for Iopu-Aso Chiefs add two forwards to Super Rugby squad Chiefs grab Seta Tamanivalu, Mitchell Graham Kiwi talent features in new-look Samoan squad Graham returning to Chiefs as props recruited David Hill recruited to coach the Blues' backs Blues hire former All Black as backs coach

Former Crusader Ben Franks will make his Hurricanes debut as coach Mark Hammett looks for further clues to his best combinations against the Melbourne Rebels, in Geelong, tomorrow.

Franks will start at loosehead prop for his new franchise alongside European tour team-mate Dane Coles who will be flanked by newcomer Eric Sione.

Prop has become an area of strength for the Hurricanes this season with youngsters Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Reggie Goodes and experienced Ben May in the reserves.

Franks, with 23 tests to his credit may start with his nose ahead but the battle for game-time among the big men promises to be a feature of the season.

The other feature of the side is the return of three current All Blacks with Victor Vito at No 8, and wing Julian Savea and first-five Beauden Barrett in the reserves.

Captain Conrad Smith will not make the trip to Geelong but said he may make an appearance the following week against the Chiefs in Mangatainoka.

In terms of combinations, it is hard to go past the loose forwards where Vito, young openside Ardie Savea and big blindside Faifili Levave strike a promising balance of speed, power, size and experience. Savea missed last week's 27-26 win over the Crusaders with a toe injury.

Meanwhile, there was a dearth of news around Cory Jane's knee injury yesterday after the All Blacks wing met with his surgeon.

Jane ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during a training accident last week and is expected to miss most, if not all, of the Super Rugby season.

Hammett indicated a replacement would not necessarily be a player in the same position.

"Is that a wing? Is that a midfielder? Or is it fullback? We've still got a bit of time so we don't want to rush into it."

Centre Alapati Leiua (hamstring), loose forwards Brad Shields and Jack Lam (both knee), halfback Samisoni Fisilau (hamstring), and hooker Motu Motu'u (pectoral) were not considered due to injury.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

What do you make of the Blues signing Jimmy Cowan?

It's a great move. His experience is needed.

The jury's still out for me. Let's wait and see.

It's a desperate move. Respectfully, Cowan is past it.

The Blues have bigger worries than halfback.

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content