Franks joins All Blacks exodus

London Irish have completed the signing of World Cup-winning prop Ben Franks on a three-year deal.

Franks has been strongly linked with Irish in recent weeks and will make the switch after the World Cup, where he will join up with Chiefs assistant coach Tom Coventry, who will take over the reins at the Premiership club next season.

Franks becomes the latest All Black to confirm a move north after the World Cup, following the likes of Ma'a Nonu, Dan Carter and Jeremy Thrush.

'I am really looking forward to joining London Irish,' said Franks. 'I have been to have a look around Hazelwood and was very impressed with the set-up. After speaking to the board and seeing the facilities, the ambition of the club is clear.'

'It's a family friendly club which played a big part in my decision to move my family over. London Irish also has a link with St Mary's University where I will be able to study alongside playing rugby for the club. There is still work to be done in New Zealand but my family and I are looking forward to joining the club next season.'

London Irish operations director, Bob Casey, said the signing of the 42-cap All Black represents a major coup for the club.

'Ben is a world-class player and we are delighted that he has decided to sign with London Irish,' said Casey. 'He is a family man with great rugby values. It's a real statement of intent that a player of his class and experience has signed and shows the ambition of the club and our owners.'

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