Snubbed All Black prop returns to Canterbury front row

Snubbed All Black prop returns to Canterbury front row

All Black centurion Owen Franks will pull on the red and black jersey of Canterbury for the first time in almost a decade after Canterbury Head Coach Joe Maddock made six changes to his team, including the return of experienced prop who will make his first appearance for Canterbury since 2010.

Franks replaces Oli Jager, who suffered a knee sprain in the match against Auckland. Franks was given space in the aftermath of his shock omission from the All Blacks 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup in Japan, but has trained with the team the past fortnight. 

Having debuted in 2007, Franks played the last of his 18 matches for Canterbury during the penultimate round of the 2010 provincial season. 



The 31-year-old scored his only try for the red and blacks in the match, a successful 39-21 Ranfurly Shield defence against Counties Manukau at the now defunct Lancaster Park.

Elsewhere in the team, Cullen Grace is promoted from the bench to start alongside Mitch Dunshea, and Tom Christie also earns a start this week, on the open side. 

At halfback, Ereatara Enari and Mitch Drummond will swap this week, so that Enari starts and Drummond will provide cover in the reserves. Inga Finau will also line up in the midfield alongside Braydon Ennor, and the final change in the backs sees Sam Gilbert return from injury to take a spot on the right wing, with Dallas McLeod moving to the bench.

The last time the two sides met was back in 2016, with Canterbury winning that game 52-34.

Canterbury team to play Northland:

1.   Daniel Lienert-Brown
2.   Brodie McAlister              
3.   Owen Franks
4.   Cullen Grace
5.   Mitchell Dunshea 
6.   Reed Prinsep
7.   Tom Christie
8.   Luke Whitelock (C)
9.   Ereatara Enari
10. Brett Cameron
11. Ngane Punivai
12. Inga Finau
13. Braydon Ennor
14. Sam Gilbert
15. Josh McKay
16. Seb Siataga 
17. Harry Allan 
18. Siate Tokolahi
19. Will Tucker
20. Whetukamokamo Douglas
21. Mitchell Drummond
22. Fergus Burke
23. Dallas McLeod

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