Franks handed first All Black start

Owen Franks will start his first Test for New Zealand in the second Tri-Nations match against South Africa in Durban on Saturday.

Owen Franks will start his first Test for New Zealand in the second Tri-Nations match against South Africa in Durban on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Crusaders star gets his chance at tighthead prop having come off the bench for his three previous All Blacks caps.

Franks comes in for Neemia Tialata, who sprained his right knee during the 28-19 defeat by the Springboks in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

The other change comes at half-back, where Jimmy Cowan replaces Brendon Leonard, while John Afoa is named among the replacements.

Coach Graham Henry is hopeful they can reverse the result from last weekend.

“I said that last week’s Test in Bloemfontein would be a massive challenge and this weekend’s Test in Durban is no different,” he said.

“But this team has a lot of character and resolve and we are approaching it in a positive frame of mind.”

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