Owen Franks recovering after hospital stint
All Black Owen Franks is recovering at his Christchurch home after being treated in hospital for an infected elbow.
The tighthead prop wasn't considered for the Crusaders' match against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday night because of an infection he picked up while on duty with the All Blacks during their three-test series against France.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said that even after the player was discharged the injury was considered serious enough to prevent Franks from attending trainings this week.
"He was hospitalised for two days with an infection," Blackadder said. "We really haven't seen him. It's just been about him getting over his infection and getting the recovery he needs. It's quite serious. He came back on Sunday and felt really unwell and went to accident and emergency and they took him to hospital for two days."
Blackadder believed Franks got a nick in his arm during the second test in Christchurch. It subsequently became infected.
"He's sort of battling through with antibiotics but obviously after a big game like last week he was rundown and nature took its course."
Nepo Laulala will start at tighthead in Franks' absence .
It is hoped Franks will make a swift recovery and be fit enough to face the Chiefs in Christchurch on July 5.
Franks is the second All Blacks prop to be admitted to hospital for an infection this month.
Highlanders loosehead Tony Woodcock spent several days on a drip because of an infected abscess in his nose before the first test against France in Auckland on June 8. It prevented him from being considered for selection.
"It was just a bit of an infection that got out of hand and needed a strong dose of antibiotics to knock it on the head really," Woodcock said ahead of the second test in Christchurch.
"They actually chucked me on a drip and got some good antibiotics in. I thought [it was a bit dramatic], but the lady who cut it open was pretty good about it as well."
Despite Franks' injury Blackadder resisted any temptation to thrust All Blacks loosehead prop Wyatt Crockett into the starting side.
Although that would have added some extra experience to his front row he believed Crockett, who like Franks started all three tests, would benefit from having a break from starting. He has instead been listed on the bench.
Joe Moody has been named at loosehead prop and Ben Funnell is at hooker. Corey Flynn, who is set to make his 130th Super Rugby outing, is on the bench after recovering from a hamstring strain.