All the action between the Crusaders and Sharks in Super Rugby.

All Blacks prop Owen Franks' stint on the sidelines is set to continue.

The Crusaders veteran has been ruled out for another month with a shoulder injury, continuing a spell which has seen the 106-cap tighthead not take the pitch since April 6.

He was injured in a scrum in that clash with the Brumbies, and with a MRI scan revealing a small muscle tear in his shoulder.


Crusaders assistant coach Jason Ryan said it was a relief, considering there was a fear that Franks would require surgery.

"He gave it a tweak, a wee bit of a scare, but the good thing is that it doesn't require surgery so it will be a good rehab process.

"It's a relief for everyone, it was touch and go there for a bit. We'll get him back in a month, he's got a good rehab plan for the next four weeks, and all going well that's when he'll return to play."

That would see Franks miss the Crusaders' games against the Sharks, Bulls, Stormers and Blues, before potentially returning in June, in time for the Super Rugby playoffs and their last two games against the Chiefs and Rebels.

Ryan admits that Franks' loss will be a blow, but is confident in the other tightheads in the Crusaders squad, expecting Michael Alaalatoa and Oli Jager to continue to fill in.

"He's a key man – he's a pivotal part of what we do at the set piece and up front, but we've got a couple of young boys who are going well at tighthead at the moment. Mikey's played a lot of Super Rugby and Oli Jager's coming in pretty good."

The Crusaders had the added bonus of having All Blacks scrum coach Mike Cron in camp today, after a call from Ryan, who wasn't impressed with the "shambles" at scrumtime during their 36-10 victory over the Lions.

"I just wanted to make sure that we're getting everything right. He's the best in the world, so why not invite him down here just to have a look at what we're doing and make sure we're on top of things," said Ryan.


"The scrums were a little bit of a mess [on Friday]. Our mindset is we want to get the ball out to Sevu Reece and score tries, some teams want to score three points and get penalties."

Alaalatoa is likely to link up with Joe Moody once again in the front row on Friday against the Sharks, with Jack Goodhue, Matt Todd and Scott Barrett all set to return after taking their All Blacks rest week.

Sam Whitelock and Ryan Crotty – who passed a Head Injury Assessment in the Lions win – are taking their All Blacks rest this weekend.