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All Blacks, 'Saders hang onto Franks

Teamtalk logo Teamtalk 5/01/2017
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All Blacks prop Owen Franks, has recommitted to New Zealand Rugby after re-signing with the All Blacks and the Crusaders till 2019.

The 28-year-old tighthead prop who has been a cornerstone of the All Black forward pack since making his Test debut in 2009 said he chose to stay in Christchurch despite international interest.

Franks said: "After much thought and discussion, I'm pleased to confirm that I'll be staying in New Zealand until after Rugby World Cup 2019," Franks told the Crusaders website.

"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."

Franks played his 90th Test in the last match of the All Blacks' recent November Tour against France, is the second most capped All Blacks prop behind Tony Woodcock and the 10th most capped All Black of all time. He made his Super Rugby debut for the Crusaders in 2009 and has racked up more than 120 appearances for the club.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: "On behalf of the All Blacks and New Zealand Rugby, I want to congratulate Owen on his re-commitment to New Zealand. He's one of the best in the world in his position and his formidable work ethic, commitment to the team's values and outstanding play make him one of the most respected players in our team and we're very happy that he has decided to stay."

Crusaders Coach Scott Robertson said: "In this professional era of rugby, players of Owen's calibre can pretty much choose where they play so it is fantastic that he's chosen to continue his career here with the Crusaders. He is a core member of this team and contributes so much on and off the field. Owen is the consummate professional, and his dedication to being the best in every facet of his preparation will ensure that he continues to be at the top of world rugby for a long while yet."

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