- DOB27 Mar 1984
With two Rugby World Cup titles to his name and almost 50 caps for the All Blacks, Ben Franks arrived at Franklin’s Gardens in 2018 with one of the most complete CV’s in world rugby.
The prop followed former coach Chris Boyd to Northampton, quickly securing his place in Saints’ side and racking up 28 appearances in his first campaign in Black, Green and Gold.
Franks scored two tries and helped Northampton lift the Premiership Rugby Cup that season, as the side reached the knock-out stages of every senior competition.
Starting his rugby career in Canterbury, Franks made his provincial debut for the side against Otago in 2005 before joining the Crusaders in 2006 and winning the Super Rugby title two years later.
Having featured for the Crusaders nearly 100 times, Franks then moved to the Wellington-based Hurricanes in 2013 where he linked up with Chris Boyd, reaching the Super Rugby final that season under the future Saints director of rugby.
The prop made his Test debut for New Zealand in 2010 against Ireland, scoring his first points for the All Blacks, before helping his country defeat Wales a week later. Playing alongside brother Owen, the duo become only the second pair of brothers to represent New Zealand.
His performances earned Franks a pace in the All Blacks squad for the 2010 Tri-Nations before appearing at the 2011 Rugby World Cup where New Zealand went on to claim the title.
Franks and the All Blacks would repeat the feat in 2015, meaning he became one of only 20 players ever to have been a part of two World Cup victories.
Following the close of that competition, Franks made the switch to the Premiership and spent three seasons at London Irish before heading to Franklin’s Gardens.