Rugby: Blues‘ James Parsons denies receiving apology from banned Owen Franks

Blues hooker James Parsons has refuted a Sanzaar statement that he received an apology from Owen Franks, which led to the Crusaders prop‘s four-week ban for foul play being sensationally halved.

Parsons was struck in the head by Franks during the Blues‘ loss to the Crusaders last weekend, with Franks escaping punishment on the field, but having to face the governing body‘s judiciary after the match.

There, Franks saw what would have been a four-week ban reduced to two weeks, due to his good judicial record, early guilty plea, and “his expressed remorse and apology to the other player”, according to a Sanzaar statement.

Those mitigating factors meant that Franks is instead free to play for the All Blacks against France in the first test on June 9. However, Parsons says no such apology was forthcoming from the All Blacks prop.

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“I haven‘t spoken to him since the incident. Obviously, we shook hands as teams do after the game but I didn‘t speak to him,” Parsons told Radio Sport‘s D‘Arcy Waldegrave.

“I haven‘t received an apology – unless he‘s gone via email form or letter form to Blues management.”

Owen Franks. Photo / Photosport facebook twitter email linkedin google-plus whatsapp pinterest reddit

Comparatively, Crusaders coach Scott Robertson says that Franks was indeed remorseful about the incident.

“Both Joe [Moody, who copped a two-week ban for a similar offence against the Waratahs two weeks ago] and Owen are quite remorseful,” claimed Robertson.

“There was no intent. No one dropped a knee or eye-gouged. He put his arm up…it wasn‘t like he intentionally chased after anyone.

“That‘s when I start to think, ‘hang on, mate. We‘ve lost that call‘. We have characters that get the boiling blood but at nearly every other ruck, it could‘ve happened what Owen had done,” said Robertson.

“We have to be better. We discussed the individual ownership around it and the boys probably are remorseful.”

Despite his confusion over Sanzaar‘s justification, Parsons says the length of Franks‘ ban is largely irrelevant to the Blues, who would have preferred action to be taken on the field.

“Two weeks, four weeks, whatever it is it doesn‘t change the result for us – I would have liked to have seen something done on the night.”