Crusaders and New Zealand prop Owen Franks will join Northampton Saints after the Rugby World Cup.
Franks has gone on to rack up 106 caps for the All Blacks since making his debut a decade ago, winning the World Cup twice along the way.
The 31-year-old, one of the best props of his generation, has also made more than 150 Super Rugby appearances for the Crusaders after breaking into the side in 2009.
Franks will join his brother, Ben, at Franklin’s Gardens after attempting to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for a third time in Japan.
“I’d like to thank Chris Boyd [Saints director of rugby] and Northampton Saints for showing faith in me and giving me this opportunity to come and play in the Premiership,” said Franks.
“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.
“I’d also like to thank the NZRU and the Crusaders for their continued support, and for allowing me to live out my dream.”
— Northampton Saints (@SaintsRugby) February 14, 2019
All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen hailed Franks’ professionalism during what has been a stellar career.
“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.” said Hansen.
“His unbelievable commitment to his preparation, on-field and gym training, diet and his game is there for all to see, and inspires others.
“He has done this from the first time he made the All Blacks in 2009, has continued that throughout his whole career, and his achievement in reaching 106 Tests to date reflects that.”
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