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Owen Franks Returns to the Crusaders

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A Crusaders stalwart and legend of New Zealand rugby, Owen Franks returns to the Crusaders for the 2024 season. It’s a big deal and we couldn’t be more excited to see him back at Rugby Park. 


Franks notched up more than 150 caps for the Crusaders after debuting in 2009, the same year he pulled on the All Blacks jersey for the first time. He went on to play more than 100 tests for the All Blacks and is one of a small group of international players to win more than one Rugby World Cup. 


“I’m hugely grateful for the opportunity to play for the Crusaders and represent my people and my home,” Franks said. 


“Coming back makes me realise what a privilege it is to play for this club.” 


Franks last played for the Crusaders in 2019, helping secure a third Super Rugby title on the trot. He recently completed a stint at Toulouse in France’s Top 14, and played the ’22 Super Rugby Pacific season with the Hurricanes.


When the text came through from Dan Perrin asking if he was interested, it wasn’t a tough decision for Crusader #138.


“I’m playing rugby at this stage of my career because I enjoy it and still have plenty to give,” he said.

OwenFranks Signed

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Franks always intended to come home this year to spend more time with his wife and family, regardless of a rugby contract. So to have him front once again for the red and black is an epic result for him, for the team, and for the fans.


He returns as tighthead prop, bolstering the front row alongisde the likes of Tamaiti Williams and Fletcher Newell – themselves fresh from the Rugby World Cup in France.


“I’m really looking forward to rubbing shoulders with the other front rowers and competing with them. They’re all world class in my opinion, so it’ll be great to be a part of that unit,” he said.


Dan Perrin, Crusaders forwards coach, said Franks was bringing “all his Super Rugby experience back” to the team for 2024.


“He’s the ultimate professional and at 35 years of age is in his prime for a front rower,” Perrin said.


“From what I’ve seen of his games for Toulouse, he’s in some of the best form of his career.”


Rob Penney, Crusaders Head Coach, said the club was “pleased and excited to welcome back an icon of Crusaders rugby”.


“Owen has already made a significant contribution to this team, and we can’t wait for him to continue to do this throughout our 2024 campaign,” Penney said. 

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