Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Features

New Zealand double World Cup winner Franks to join Northampton

New Saint: New Zealand’s Owen Franks will join brother Ben at English club Northampton next season © AFP / Ben STANSALL

LONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 14 – The All Blacks’ double World Cup-winning prop Owen Franks will join Northampton next season, the English Premiership club and New Zealand Rugby both announced Thursday.

His move will see the 31-year-old Canterbury Crusaders tighthead linking up at the Saints with brother Ben, already on Northampton’s books.

Franks, who will be based outside of New Zealand for the first time in his career, is now set to end his Test career at this year’s World Cup in Japan before joining the East Midlands club.

Franks has been capped 106 times by the All Blacks but New Zealand have a longstanding policy of not selecting overseas-based players for Test duty.

“The Crusaders, All Blacks and Canterbury Rugby have been a big part of my life, and my family’s lives, for more than a decade now, and I’m grateful for every opportunity I’ve had to live my dream in those jerseys,” Franks said in a NZR statement.

“New Zealand will always be home, but Northampton presents a great opportunity for me to test myself in a new rugby environment, and reconnect with family there,” he added.

“While I know I’ll look back at the end of my time in New Zealand with an immense amount of pride, I still have a lot I want to achieve this year and some big goals to tick off before I leave.”

And in a statement issued by Northampton, Franks explained his reasons for moving to England by saying: “I’ve always taken a keen interest in northern hemisphere rugby so I’m looking forward to coming to the UK and proving myself, while the prospect of playing at Franklin’s Gardens in front of Northampton’s passionate supporters is hugely exciting for me and my family.”

He also played in all three Tests of a dramatic drawn series against the British and Irish Lions in 2017, where future Saints team-mate Courtney Lawes was an opponent.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Meanwhile NZR chief executive Steve Tew said Franks “will leave our shores as an All Blacks legend” while head coach Steve Hansen added: “Owie is one of the most professional players I’ve had the privilege of coaching.

“The standards he sets for himself — and others — are exemplary.”

Northampton are currently ninth in the 12-team Premiership but only six points adrift of the top four who will contest the title-deciding play-offs.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

More on Capital Sports

Football

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – There is light at the end of the tunnel. After failed promises over the last three years since its...

Athletics

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 8 – Olympic Champion Caster Semenya and wife Violet Raseboya have hinted that they might be expecting a baby in a...

NFL

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – Kenya’s history making Daniel Adongo, the first Kenyan to play in America’s National Football League (NFL), is now living...

Features

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 17 – The Kakamega High School ‘Green Commandos’ have produced a plethora of talent over the past decades in Kenyan football...

© 2020 Capital Digital Media. Capital Group Limited. All Rights Reserved