An ongoing Achilles tendon injury has forced All Blacks prop Owen Franks to withdraw from Saturday’s second Bledisloe Cup clash against Australia.


Franks was named in New Zealand’s squad to face the Wallabies in Dunedin but the 29-year-old has succumbed to injury.

Nepo Laulala will start against the Wallabies, while Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen is Franks’ replacement for the trans-Tasman Rugby Championship encounter.

“We’ve just decided to make sure that we’ve still got a rugby player in the future that we will put him aside and take a look at how we are going to treat it,” All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen said on Thursday.

World champions New Zealand – who humbled Australia 54-34 in Sydney last week – have held the Bledisloe Cup trophy since 2003.

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