All Blacks tighthead Owen Franks has signed a new contract with the NZRU that will see him stay in contention for the famous black jersey and with Super Rugby side Crusaders until the end of the next Rugby World Cup in 2019.
As it is often said tightheads are worth their weight in gold, the NZRU will be particularly contented to have secured the signature of one of the side’s most consistent players over the years. Franks is one of the first names on the team sheet for the All Blacks and an absolutely pivotal element of their pack.
The Motueka-born prop has played 90 tests for his country, missing only 15 matches over seven seasons.
On signing his new deal, Franks said (via NZ Herald):
“After much thought and discussion, I’m pleased to confirm that I’ll be staying in New Zealand until after Rugby World Cup 2019.
“Whilst there was considerable interest internationally, I felt I wasn’t ready to give up playing with the best players in the game. I also believe that I haven’t reached my full potential yet and don’t want to leave until I feel I have.”
Despite having family abroad, the New Zealander has stayed loyal to his home. Franks’ brother Ben, who himself played 47 tests for his country, signed for English club London Irish back in 2015, and stayed with them despite relegation to the Championship in his first season at the Reading-based side.
Paul Wassell, Pundit Arena
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