Rugby Championship

Franks on the verge of unique record

2016-09-16 11:20
Owen Franks (Getty)

Christchurch - Tryless All Blacks prop Owen Franks is 80 minutes away from claiming one of Test rugby's least distinguished and rarely sought records, and there is a suspicion he is proud of it.

If he doesn't score against South Africa in Christchurch on Saturday, in what will be his 84th Test, Franks will claim the world record for the longest career without scoring a try.

He currently shares the title of 83 tryless Tests with Italian Salvatore Perugini who retired from international rugby five years ago.

The chance for the 28-year-old All Blacks scrum anchor to go down in history has been greeted with some amusement by his fellow All Blacks.

Coach Steve Hansen quipped Franks may not want to score and that's alright by him.

"He's not meant to score too many and I think it's got to the point now where he doesn't want to score one, where he wants a record. He's pretty proud of it I think."

Charlie Faumuina, who replaced Franks in the second half against Argentina last week, said he felt a twinge of regret when he scored minutes after taking the field.

"I think it's something Owen is pretty proud of, not scoring a try in 80-odd Tests. When I scored the try I thought about Owen because that's a situation he would've been in and I'm sure he would've got the try too."

Centre Ryan Crotty added that there could yet be some effort towards making sure Franks did not get to claim the world record outright.

"If we see him on a nice line this week, we'll be looking for him and try to send him through under the sticks."

Of the current All Blacks props, Faumuina has two tries from 39 Tests, Wyatt Crockett one from 52 and Joe Moody one from 16.

Teams:

New Zealand 

15 Ben Smith 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 James Parsons, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Matt Todd, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown

South Africa

15 Johan Goosen, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Jaco Kriel, 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Damian de Allende

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