Tom Franklin (rugby union)

Last updated

Tom Franklin
Tom Franklin 2018a.jpg
Full nameThomas St George Franklin
Date of birth (1990-08-11) 11 August 1990 (age 33)
Place of birth Ōpōtiki, New Zealand
Height2.00 m (6 ft 7 in)
Weight115 kg (18 st 2 lb; 254 lb)
School St. Paul's Collegiate School
University University of Otago
Rugby union career
Position(s) Lock, Flanker
Current team San Diego Legion, Taranaki
Senior career
YearsTeamApps(Points)
2011–2016 Otago 51 (50)
2014–2019 Highlanders 85 (25)
2017–2019 Bay of Plenty 16 (15)
2018– Kobelco Steelers 23 (25)
2021– San Diego Legion 13 (0)
2023 Taranaki 0 (0)
Correct as of 23 August 2023
International career
YearsTeamApps(Points)
2010 New Zealand U20 5 (0)
2014−2019 Māori All Blacks 9 (5)
Correct as of 2 June 2021

Tom Franklin (born 11 August 1990) is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a lock for Taranaki in New Zealand's domestic National Provincial Championship competition. [1]

Contents

Early career

Born in the small town of Ōpōtiki in New Zealand's Bay of Plenty Region, Franklin attended high school at St Paul's Collegiate School in Hamilton. After graduation, he turned down a scholarship at Lincoln University in Christchurch in favour of a move to Dunedin to study Business Management at the University of Otago. While working towards his degree, he began playing for Southern in the local Dunedin club rugby competition and also was a member of the Otago rugby academy. [2] [3] [4]

Senior career

Franklin first played provincial rugby with Otago in 2011, debuting in a 30-14 win over Counties Manukau, one of two appearances he made during the year. He was far more of a regular in 2012, playing 8 times and scoring his first provincial try for the Razorbacks as they came second in the ITM Cup Championship standings and reached the promotion playoff final before being thrashed 41-16 by Counties Manukau. He played 10 times in both the 2013 and 2014 seasons as Otago finished in 2nd and 6th place on the log respectively, still unable to gain promotion to the Premiership.

After a poor year in 2014, the Razorbacks started to turn the corner in 2015, winning 6 of their 10 regular season matches they finished 3rd on the Championship log behind Wellington and Hawke's Bay before being defeated 34-14 by the Lions in the semi-finals. Franklin scored 1 try in 8 matches during the season and the following year added 3 more 5 pointers in 9 games as the men from Dunedin topped the Championship log and went on to reach the playoff final where they were surprisingly bettered by North Harbour, going down 17-14 at home, a defeat which consigned them to yet another season of Championship rugby in 2017. [5]

Super Rugby

Several seasons of solid performances at domestic level with Otago brought him to the attention of Dunedin-based Super Rugby franchise, the Highlanders, who named him in their squad for the 2014 Super Rugby season. [6] [3] Competing for a starting slot against the likes of Joe Wheeler, Josh Bekhuis, Brad Thorn and Jarrad Hoeata, Franklin did well to feature in 8 games in his first season, starting 3 times and coming on as a replacement 5 times.

The Highlanders reached the quarter-finals in 2014 before being knocked out by the Sharks in Durban, but the following year they enjoyed a dream season and lifted the Super Rugby title for the first time in their history, defeating the Hurricanes 21-14 in the final. Franklin played in 15 of the Highlanders 19 games in 2015 and went on to play the same number of times in 2016 as they failed to hold on to their crown, losing to the Lions in Johannesburg in the semi-finals. [5]

International

Franklin was a member of the New Zealand Under-20 side which won the 2010 Junior World Championship in Argentina, playing 5 times. [7] [8]

He has also represented the Māori All Blacks, receiving his first call up to their squad ahead of the 2014 end-of-year rugby union internationals. He started both matches on their tour, victories over Japan in Kobe and Tokyo, playing the full 80 minutes in a 61-21 win in the first test, before being yellow carded and then substituted by Hayden Triggs in a narrow 20-18 success in the second test. [9]

After a gap of 2 years, he was once again in a Māori shirt for the 2016 end-of-year rugby union internationals and played in the victories over the United States and Harlequins. [10]

Franklin was named as injury cover for Sam Whitelock in the All Blacks squad ahead of the 2016 mid-year rugby union internationals series against Ireland. Whitelock missed the first test but recovered enough to play in the remaining two matches so Franklin was withdrawn from the squad and is still awaiting his senior test debut. [11] He was also part of the All Blacks squad named to train for the 2017 Rugby Championship. [12]

Career Honours

New Zealand Under-20

Highlanders

Super Rugby statistics

As of 11 January 2017 [5]
SeasonTeamGamesStartsSubMinsTriesConsPensDropsPointsYelRed
2014 Highlanders 8354260000000
2015 Highlanders 151147941000500
2016 Highlanders 151328790000000
Total38271120991000500

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References

  1. @TaranakiRugby (23 August 2023). "Welcome to Taranaki, Mr Franklin. Lock depth replenished" (Tweet). Retrieved 23 August 2023 via Twitter.
  2. "Tom Franklin Highlanders Player Profile". Highlanders Rugby. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  3. 1 2 "Highlanders 2017 Squad Guide". All Blacks.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 March 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  4. "Highlanders' Tom Franklin focused on training, not partying". Rugby Heaven. 17 January 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  5. 1 2 3 "Tom Franklin itsrugby.co.uk Player Statistics". itsrugby.co.uk. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  6. "Highlanders sign Tanaka, Evans and Franklin". Rugby Week. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  7. "New Zealand Under 20 squad named". All Blacks.com. 29 April 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  8. "Tom Franklin All Blacks Player Profile". All Blacks.com. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  9. "2014 Maori All Blacks squad named". All Blacks.com. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  10. "Maori All Blacks squad named for northern tour". All Blacks.com. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  11. "Seven Highlanders in All Blacks squad". Otago Daily Times. 27 June 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  12. "Fresh faces feature in All Blacks training squad". Australian Rugby. 2 August 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.