Northampton Saints sign World Cup-winning prop Ben Franks

Ben Franks has played 47 Tests for New Zealand
Ben Franks has played 47 Tests for New Zealand

Former New Zealand prop Ben Franks will leave London Irish to join Premiership rivals Northampton Saints at the end of the season.

The 33-year-old won 47 caps for New Zealand and was part of their 2011 and 2015 World Cup winning squad.

Franks will be reunited with Chris Boyd, the incoming Saints director of rugby who he played under at the Hurricanes. He will replace Kieran Brookes, who is set to leave the club at the end of this season.

Franks says linking up with former Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd was a major factor behind his move to the Northampton Saints.

"I'm delighted to be joining Saints at such an exciting junction for the club," said Franks, capped 47 times by the All Blacks.

"Linking up with Chris Boyd once again was of course a big factor in this decision; I remember him as a gifted and hard-working coach, and I know he will be desperate to make a fast start in England as he did in Wellington with the Hurricanes.

"I still feel like I have a lot to offer in the Aviva Premiership, and having experienced the Franklin's Gardens atmosphere first-hand, I can't wait to run out for Northampton every week.

"Seeing the facilities at the club and looking at some of the quality players that have been brought in for next season, the ambition of Saints is clear, and I can't wait to be a part of that."