Owen Franks to bid farewell to New Zealand at end of 2019

Owen Franks to bid farewell to New Zealand at end of 2019

One of the best props of the modern era, All Blacks and BNZ Crusaders centurion Owen Franks has announced he will be leaving New Zealand Rugby at the end of 2019.

31-year-old Franks will head to English club Northampton Saints at the end of the year where he will play alongside brother Ben.

"The Crusaders, All Blacks and Canterbury Rugby have been a big part of my life, and my family's lives, for more than a decade now, and I'm grateful for every opportunity I've had to live my dream in those jerseys," Franks said.

"New Zealand will always be home, but Northampton presents a great opportunity for me to test myself in a new rugby environment, and reconnect with family there.

"While I know I'll look back at the end of my time in New Zealand with an immense amount of pride, I still have a lot I want to achieve this year and some big goals to tick off before I leave."

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen added:  "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.

"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.

"We wish Owen, wife Emma and their family all the very best when their new adventure starts next year."

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