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Ben Franks commits to London Irish despite their relegation

Published 29/06/2016

New Zealand international prop Ben Franks has committed his future to London Irish
New Zealand international prop Ben Franks has committed his future to London Irish

New Zealand international prop Ben Franks has committed his future to London Irish.

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

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, meanwhile, described Franks confirming his Exiles future as "a real statement of intent."

Delaney added: " Ben is a world-class player, and his experience in the pack will be vital as we look to make an immediate return to the Premiership.

"We have a number of exciting young talents coming through the ranks at present, and 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."

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