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All Black Franks eager 'to work hard' as he sticks with relegated London Irish

The highly-rated, highly-paid prop won’t be following coach Tom Coventry through the exit door.

Franks on one of just seven appearances for his new club last season.
Franks on one of just seven appearances for his new club last season.
Image: Andrew Matthews

FORMER NEW ZEALAND prop Ben Franks will ply his trade for London Irish next season, despite the recent upheaval at the club.

Franks joined on a three-year contract last year, but the Exiles’ relegation has seen many best-laid plans enter the re-think stage.

Head coach Tom Coventry, assistant Grant Doorey and lock Matt Symons all jumped ship in the last week, just a year into their stints.

London Irish point to Franks’ commitment as a boost, but as the club’s salary cap exemption last season, he would have been an extremely costly recruit for any potential suitor to buy out of his contract.

“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,” Franks says on the Exiles’ website as he looked forward to steering clear of the injury that blighted his first season in England.

I’m 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.

“The last two or three weeks before we came back for pre-season, I was just eager to get started.”

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Sean Farrell

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