|Thomas St George Franklin
|Date of birth
|11 August 1990
|Place of birth
|Ōpōtiki, New Zealand
|2.00 m (6 ft 7 in)
|115 kg (18 st 2 lb; 254 lb)
|St. Paul's Collegiate School
|University of Otago
|Rugby union career
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.
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.
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.
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.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.
Franklin was a member of the New Zealand Under-20 side which won the 2010 Junior World Championship in Argentina, playing 5 times.
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.
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.
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.He was also part of the All Blacks squad named to train for the 2017 Rugby Championship.
New Zealand Under-20
Christopher Bradley Smylie is a New Zealand rugby union player. He plays in the scrum-half position for Taranaki in the ITM Cup. He was born in Greater Auckland and attended Massey High School. In 2002 he made his professional debut for North Harbour against Auckland in the National Provincial Championship. Smylie then went south and had one season for the Highlanders in 2006, off the back of a hugely impressive debut season for Otago in 2005. The following year he played for the New Zealand Māori and in 2007 saw him play for the Hurricanes in Super Rugby, before debuting in 2009 for North Harbour in the Air New Zealand Cup.
Kurt Baker is a New Zealand rugby union player, who currently plays as a fullback or wing for Old Glory DC in Major League Rugby (MLR).
Jarrad Hoeata is a professional rugby union player who plays for New Zealand side Taranaki. He made his debut for the All Blacks during the 2011 Tri Nations tournament.
Liam James Coltman is a New Zealand rugby union player who plays as a hooker for Lyon in Frances's domestic competition Top 14.
Luke Charles Whitelock is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a loose forward for Section Paloise (Pau) in France's Top 14 rugby competition.
Shane Christie is a New Zealand rugby union player.
Hayden John Parker is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a first five-eighth for the Japanese based HITO-Communications Sunwolves in Super Rugby and Otago in New Zealand's domestic Mitre 10 Cup.
Gareth Evans is a retired New Zealand rugby union player, who played as a loose forward for Hawke's Bay in New Zealand's domestic National Provincial Championship competition and the Highlanders in Super Rugby.
Craig William Millar is a professional rugby union player who plays as a prop for Japan Rugby League One club Saitama Wild Knights. Born in New Zealand, he represents Japan at international level after qualifying on residency grounds.
Aki Seiuli is a New Zealand born rugby union player of Samoan heritage who currently plays as a prop for Dragons and the Samoan national side. He previously played for Glasgow Warriors; and the New Zealand sides Otago - in domestic Mitre 10 Cup - and the Highlanders - in the international Super Rugby competition.
Dan Pryor is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a loose forward for the Miami Sharks in Major League Rugby (MLR). He previously played for San Diego Legion, for Northland in the ITM Cup, for the Highlanders, Blues and Sunwolves in Super Rugby, and for the Munakata Sanix Blues in the Japanese Top League.
Alexander Nigel Ainley is a former New Zealand rugby union player who played as a lock for Tasman in the Bunnings NPC and the Highlanders in Super Rugby.
Siosiua Halanukonuka is a Tongan rugby union player. He plays in the prop position for the France side Perpignan. Halanukonuka also represents Tonga at international level.
Josh Renton is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a halfback for Valorugby Emilia in Italian Top10.
Teihorangi Thomas Walden is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a midfield back for Taranaki in New Zealand's domestic Mitre 10 Cup and the Highlanders in the international Super Rugby competition. He also plays for the Rugby New York (Ironworkers) in Major League Rugby (MLR).
James Anthony Richard Lentjes is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently for Otago the Bunnings NPC. His position is Flanker.
Jackson Nikora Hemopo is a New Zealand All Black and rugby union player who played as a lock or loose forward for Manawatu in New Zealand's domestic Mitre 10 Cup and the Highlanders in the international Super Rugby competition.
Matt Faddes is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a centre, wing or fullback for Otago.
Sio Tomkinson is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a centre for Dragons RFC in the United Rugby Championship. He has previously played for the Highlanders.
Fletcher Smith is a New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays as a first five-eighth for Lyon in France’s league the Top 14. He has also represented the Highlanders. He is Māori of Ngāti Kahungunu descent.