WELLINGTON – Owen Franks and Codie Taylor will return from injury to bolster the Canterbury Crusaders' scrum for their Super Rugby quarter-final against the Otago Highlanders on Friday, reuniting with All Blacks team mate Joe Moody for the first time this season.
The duo's return for the game in Christchurch has allowed Scott Robertson to name his strongest team of the season as they bid for their third successive title.
Franks has not played for the nine-time champions since April 6 due to a small tear in his shoulder muscle.
“I tried to shake it off, I thought it might have been a stinger or something,” the tighthead prop told reporters on Wednesday. “But as soon as I went to bind, it felt pretty sloppy and just a whole lot of pain shooting up my arm.”
The injury had raised concerns Franks might need surgery, which could have jeopardised his chances of going to a third Rugby World Cup before he joins English Premiership club Northampton Saints.