Owen Franks commits to New Zealand ahead of Lions tour

He is the second most capped All Black prop

BY Simon Maguire 11:45 Thursday 22 December 2016, 11:45 22 Dec 2016

New Zealand All Blacks Owen Franks and Joe Moody. Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

New Zealand prop Owen Franks has committed his future to the All Blacks and the Canterbury Crusaders through until the next Rugby World Cup in 2019.

The tight-forward, who turns 29 tomorrow, has been capped 90 times by the national side and is the 10th most capped All Black in history.

Speaking at the announcment of the signing, 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.

"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."

The news is a huge boost to the country as they prepare to welcome the Lions next summer. 

Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, New Zealand 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," he added. 

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