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Crusaders prop Owen Franks still sidelined with shoulder issue for Rebels clash

The Crusaders will have one All Blacks prop return and another still sidelined for Saturday's clash with the Rebels, with Tim Perry named on the bench and Owen Franks still missing.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson unveiled his team yesterday. Franks is still recovering from a niggly shoulder injury, while Perry is set to make his first appearance since round one in February when he broke his arm.

"Not quite strong enough, that shoulder," Robertson said ahead of the Christchurch clash.

"A couple of weeks will make a massive difference. He's training well, he's close, but not close enough."

It means Franks could be thrust back into Super Rugby action in a do-or-die quarter-final in two weeks, with the Crusaders resting the final week of the regular season with a bye.

Franks hasn't played Super Rugby for two months, after he was injured in the Crusaders' 36-14 win over the Brumbies on April 6.

Robertson said he may ask Franks to play club rugby next weekend to get some game time under his belt but he was confident, regardless, that the veteran front-rower would be up to the challenge in two weeks.

"We've got a lot of conversations with the medical group around what's best for him next week to prepare for the first final.  We will look into it. 

"But if someone can go out and play straight off the bat, it would be Owie. He's experienced enough, professional enough to play if need be."

The Crusaders' front row for the already-clinched home quarter-final will also be boosted by the expected return of All Blacks hooker Codie Taylor, who is currently nursing a broken finger.

The Crusaders will face the Hurricanes without two All Black props after Owen Franks was suspended. Source: Photosport