Tom Franklin, after 71 games for the Highlanders, earned a sabbatical in Japan playing for Kobe Steelers in the 2018 Super Rugby off-season. He has been a regular starting lock for a number of seasons and played in all 17 games during the 2018 competition. He is a line-out exponent who operates effectively in both the tight and the loose play.
Tom Franklin started his career as a promising lock who was a member of the New Zealand U20 team that won the 2010 Junior World Championship in Argentina. He debuted in the ITM Cup for Otago against Counties Manukau in 2011 and was included in the Highlanders' squad for the 2014 Super Rugby season, debuting against the Lions in Dunedin and earning eight caps for the year.