Ben Franks: London Irish sign New Zealand prop

Ben Franks
Ben Franks has played for Crusaders and Hurricanes in his native New Zealand

London Irish have signed New Zealand World Cup-winning prop Ben Franks.

The 30-year-old, who has played 42 times for the All Blacks, will join on a three-year deal from Super Rugby side Hurricanes at the end of the season.

As well as Franks was also part of the New Zealand side that was unbeaten throughout 2013.

"Ben is a world-class player and we are delighted he has decided to sign with London Irish," said the club's operations director Bob Casey.

"It is 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."

Franks is the first signing announced by the club since and

Franks has played over 100 Super Rugby games, spending six years at the Crusaders before moving to Wellington in 2012, where he has missed just three games in two seasons.

"I am really looking forward to joining London Irish," Franks said. "After speaking to the board and seeing the facilities, the ambition of the club is clear.

"It is 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."