Newly hired Hurricanes reinforcement Owen Franks has the support of a former teammate to become All Black again.
Franks returned to New Zealand after two seasons abroad with the Northampton Saints and signed a two-year contract with the Hurricanes in the Super Rugby Pacific.
In an interview with the media before his franchise debut against Fijian Dru last week, the 34-year-old revealed that the allure of playing for the All Blacks for the first time since 2019 was a driving force in his decision to return home.
Centurion All Blacks, who won two World Cups in 2011 and 2015, Franks was a shocking omission in the lineup of the New Zealand World Cup three years ago.
This competition, conducted by former All Blacks head coach Sir Steve Hansen, effectively ended Franks’ international career with 108 tests before he left for England.
However, Crusaders half-defender Bryn Hall, Franks’ teammate during his 10-year stay at the Christchurch-based franchise from 2009 to 2019, firmly believes that the veteran front rower is more than capable of returning to the All Blacks.
Talk to Aotearoa Rugby PodHall said he would not be “surprised” if Franks worked his way back into the national system thanks to his professionalism and extensive experience.
“I’m not surprised by Owi and his thinking,” Hall said of Franks’ remarks about his desire to play for the All Blacks again.
“I was lucky to be able to play a lot of rugby with him when he was in the Crusaders, and if you’re talking about one percent and you’re a professional rugby player, go around Owen Franks and see what it looks like to be a professional rugby player.
“He even came back from Achilles.” [injury] soon. Honestly, I’m not surprised how rugby he is and how professional he is, but to be honest, it was pretty hard to see him in the yellow bar to be honest.
“He’s our centurion and very similar.” [Blues lock] Luke Romano is moving somewhere else, but he has had the opportunity and I would not be surprised if he became All Black again, because we know how strong he is in the setting.
“There’s nothing to overwhelm Owie with his thinking, so it was good to see him back on the field – except for the yellow jersey.”
Former All Blacks hooker James Parsons added that the Franks will also give the All Blacks a “point of difference” through their style of play.
Parsons revealed that he is famous for his strong design, confrontational defense and efficiency in the collision zone Aotearoa Rugby Pod that Franks differs from the mobile ball props that are sought after in New Zealand.
“We know how good the back is, we know how good the loosie is, but if they can provide those guys with a launch platform, he could be the key,” Parsons said of Franks.
“It’s a little different in this part of the world in terms of props. There are a lot of skills in carrying the ball and thinking, but he will only give you simple things. “
Franks’ contrasting skill set to that of his colleagues was the main reason for Hansen’s decision to leave him out of the 2019 World Cup team, and Hall stressed the importance of having props that are skilled in the finer details of the game.
“I think if you can compete in these teams in the Northern Hemisphere, you look at people like Ireland, they probably have one of the best support pairs in the world at the moment, more in terms of their skills and explosiveness. they are, “Hall said.
“They can play the ball on the line, which will be really important, especially against these teams with pressure on the speed line, and they can hit the tip under pressure, get back and be able to put it on the front hand where you need it as a pivot.
“There are a lot of props going on right now.” You’ve been through a lot of young guys, you have a great Tamaiti Williams, who I think has a great future in our club and in world rugby, with only the qualities and things he can bring.
“You have Ollie Norris, who I think plays for the Chiefs really well, and then you also have younger guys like Fletcher Newell who plays really well for us.”
“I feel the next generation moving forward, there are a lot of guys who will be in a state where I see Ireland and the French who are able to play with the ball at the line.”
When he said that, Hall said it Aotearoa Rugby Pod that it’s just as important to have strong scrummagers as the Franks who can give their teams a good ball in front.
“I also think you still have to know how to win your setball.” You know how important this is in the World Cups as well [against] “Ireland and big teams, which include a lot of contacts, you have to win a standard match in a moment of scrum,” he said.
“We have Nepo Laulala, Joe Moody is unfortunately hurt, but you tried to do it, too.”
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