Western Force announce signing of lock Tom Franklin

Tom Franklin has played 85 Super Rugby games
Tom Franklin has played 85 Super Rugby games

Western Force have announced the signing of former Maori All Blacks lock Tom Franklin ahead of the 2024 season.

A member of the Otago rugby academy, Franklin made his senior debut with the province in 2011 and played Super Rugby for Highlanders between 2014 and 2019 playing 85 games for them.

He also had stints with Kobelco Steelers and San Diego Legion and now will resume his Super Rugby career with Force ahead of the new season. The 33-year-old also represented New Zealand Under 20 side and Maori All Blacks in the past.

"I’m really happy to move to Perth and join the Force,” Franklin told the club's official website.

“I had a good chat to Crono and the coaches which excited me about the move, and I heard good things from ex-players like Marcel Brache who spoke about how the club is growing.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to part of something with high aspirations to go to the next level.

"I’m excited to be part of that and excited to be back in Super Rugby and take on the challenge.”

Force head coach Simon Cron is excited about the inclusion of Franklin to the squad.

“An area that we’re light on has been lock, so we’ve been looking for somebody who can add value to the team straight away,” Cron said.

“Tom has knowledge around lineouts, skills around the park and most recently he was in the winning-Taranaki team at NPC level. Talking to his forwards coach, he was a big part of that.

“I coached against Tom when he was at the Highlanders and he was one of the best defensive lineout readers that we’d coach against. I was lucky to chat to him in Japan when he was playing for Kobe and you could see what he adds."