You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Ben Franks sticks with struggling Irish

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/06/2016

Former All Black prop Ben Franks is staying with English rugby club London Irish.

Franks, a double World Cup winner, joined the Exiles on a three-year deal last year.

But speculation had been rife about him potentially moving to an Aviva Premiership club, particularly following Irish's relegation from the top flight.

The 32-year-old was injured for most of Irish's Premiership run-in, which ended with the Exiles finishing seven points behind 11th-placed Newcastle.

"Once I'd had a few weeks away to clear my mind, my gut feeling was not to miss out on an opportunity, and I'm here ready to work hard," said 45 times-capped Franks, in a statement released by Irish.

"I am excited at the prospect of getting a solid pre-season under my belt, mainly because I have not done one for many years.

"The last time I did a pre-season was when I was 23. I'm 32 now, and being an All Black you don't get the opportunity to do a full summer programme."

Irish head of rugby operations Glenn Delaney said the retention of Franks was important for the Exiles.

"His experience in the pack will be vital as we look to make an immediate return to the Premiership ... his experience and know-how, both on and off the field, will be invaluable.

"It's a real statement of intent, and underlines the ambition of the club and the owners."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon