Rugby: All Blacks ask if Owen Franks will try for record or not

New Zealand's Owen Franks is tackled during the Rugby Championship match between the New Zealand All Blacks and Argentina on Sept 10, 2016.
New Zealand's Owen Franks is tackled during the Rugby Championship match between the New Zealand All Blacks and Argentina on Sept 10, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

CHRISTCHURCH (AFP) - Tryless All Blacks prop Owen Franks is 80 minutes away from claiming one of Test rugby's least distinguished and rarely sought records, and there is a suspicion he is proud of it.

If he does not score against South Africa in Christchurch on Saturday, in what will be his 84th Test, Franks will claim the world record for the longest career without scoring a try.

He currently shares the title of 83 tryless Tests with Italian Salvatore Perugini who retired from international rugby five years ago.

The chance for the 28-year-old All Blacks scrum anchor to go down in history has been greeted with some amusement by his fellow All Blacks.

Coach Steve Hansen quipped Franks may not want to score and that is alright by him.

"He's not meant to score too many and I think it's got to the point now where he doesn't want to score one, where he wants a record. He's pretty proud of it I think."

Charlie Faumuina, who replaced Franks in the second half against Argentina last week, said he felt a twinge of regret when he scored minutes after taking the field.

"I think it's something Owen is pretty proud of, not scoring a try in 80-odd tests. When I scored the try I thought about Owen because that's a situation he would've been in and I'm sure he would've got the try too."

Centre Ryan Crotty added that there could yet be some effort towards making sure Franks did not get to claim the world record outright.

"If we see him on a nice line this week, we'll be looking for him and try to send him through under the sticks."

Of the current All Blacks props, Faumuina has two tries from 39 Tests, Wyatt Crockett one from 52 and Joe Moody one from 16.