Ben Franks: Northampton Saints sign ex-New Zealand prop from London Irish
Northampton Saints have signed London Irish's former New Zealand prop Ben Franks for next season.
The 33-year-old, who can play on either side of the scrum, won 47 caps for New Zealand and was part of their 2011 and 2015 World Cup winning squad.
Saints were looking for a replacement for Kieran Brookes, who is set to leave the club at the end of this season.
"I'm delighted to be joining Saints at such an exciting junction for the club," said Franks.
Northampton have endured a disappointing campaign and are 10th in the Premiership with five matches remaining.
They have appointed Chris Boyd as director of rugby for the 2018-19 season, the New Zealander having previously worked with Franks at Hurricanes in their home country.
"Linking up with Chris once again was of course a big factor in this decision," said Franks. "I remember him as a gifted and hardworking coach."
Franks has also won two Super Rugby titles with Crusaders and has spent the last three seasons at London Irish, who look certain to be relegated to the Championship.
"He is a versatile player with a proven ability at the very highest level," said Northampton chief executive Mark Darbon. "I'm also certain that some of our younger props can learn a vast amount from him."