Franks joins 'stay home' All Blacks

Wed, 30 Apr 2014 19:58
Large owen franks   wyatt crocket

All Black and Crusaders front row stalwart Owen Franks has recommitted to New Zealand for the next three years.

All Black and Crusaders front row stalwart Owen Franks has recommitted to New Zealand for the next three years, re-signing with the national body and his Crusaders team through to 2017.

The 26-year-old Franks has been a regular tighthead prop in the Crusaders and All Blacks since making his debut for both teams in 2009, with impressive strength and excellent scrummaging technique the hallmarks of his game.

He has played 54 Tests for the All Blacks and more than 80 matches for the Crusaders.

All Black coach Steve Hansen said: "It's great news that we have someone of Owen's standing in the game re-signing - not only for the Crusaders but for the All Blacks as well. He's a world-class player who brings a real physicality to his position."

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said Franks was a valuable member of the Crusaders.

"He is the consummate professional, never giving less than 100 percent in training or when playing and is always leading by example," Blackadder said.

"He has the drive and commitment to stay at the top of his game for a long while yet, so it is brilliant to have Owen on board for the next three years at least."

Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach added: "Owen is one of the world's best props so we are delighted that he has committed to the Crusaders through to 2017. Having been born in Motueka and schooled in Christchurch, it's clear that the Crusaders region is home for Owen and it is fantastic that he's chosen to continue his career here."

Owen Franks joins fellow All Blacks Kieran Read, Cory Jane, Israel Dagg, Ben Smith and Samuel Whitelock who have all signed with New Zealand Rugby through to 2017, the same year the British and Irish Lions will tour New Zealand.

As well, a number of current and recent All Blacks are also signed up for the next few years, including hooker Dane Coles, lock Luke Romano and midfielder Sonny Bill Williams (2016); captain Richie McCaw and fellow loose forwards Liam Messam, Sam Cane, Steven Luatua and Jerome Kaino, hooker Keven Mealamu; Franks' older brother Ben and fellow props Wyatt Crockett and Ben Afeaki, locks Brodie Retallick and Jeremy Thrush, loose forward Luke Whitelock, halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow, All Blacks Vice-Captain Daniel Carter and fellow first five-eighth Colin Slade, midfielders Ma'a Nonu and Francis Saili and outside backs Julian Savea and Charles Piutau (all signed to 2015).

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