Rugby World Cup 2019: Owen Franks opens up on All Blacks World Cup squad snub

For the best part of a decade, Owen Franks has been a cornerstone of the All Blacks' success.

But now his time in the black jersey is effectively over.

Franks - without question - was the biggest name missing from Steve Hansen's 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup.

But on perhaps the toughest day of his 108-test career, he showed no bitterness at his exclusion.

Franks has had 24 hours to ponder his shock omission.

"I'm disappointed," Franks told Newshub. "But I'm well aware as a professional athlete, and especially an All Black, that your time in the jersey isn't owed."

The 31-year-old has been the front row rock for 10 years, but yesterday's phone call from Hansen didn't last long.

"[It was] pretty short .. but I don't have long conversations with a lot of people," Franks laughed.

Hansen had just as much to report.

"I won't go into the details," said Hansen. "Very respectful of how he coped with it. That's a mark of the man.

Unfortunately for Franks, Nepo Laulala and Angus Ta'avao are better suited to Hansen's brief at tighthead prop.

"We believe the game requires us to have big, mobile number ones and threes."

Franks was philosophical, as he reflected on his excpetional tenure in the black jersey.

"I really can't sit here and complain. I've been to two World Cups and been lucky enough to win two medals."

It means Franks' 108th and final test was the record loss to Australia in Perth.

Teammates will miss a man of few words.

"I'm really feeling for Owen," said Crusaders and All Blacks captain Kieran Read. "I know how much he has put into it as a mate, and that's why I'm feeling that.

I really enjoy his leadership style, personally," added Sam Cane. "He thinks about what he's going to say and he backs it up with his actions."

Franks will now play for Canterbury and watch the World Cup from home.

"I want nothing more than to see those guys lift that trophy."

He'll then join brother Ben at English club Northampton. Although, All Blacks selector Grant Fox is keen for him to stay fit.

I'm just not sure if we've seen the last of Owen Franks in a Rugby World Cup or a black jersey," said Fox. "Because at the last World Cup we had a couple of props get injured."

If that happens, maybe Franks can finally score the test try that's eluded him.

"Still not losing any sleep over that one," added Franks.

For now, Franks is content in the knowledge he gave it his all in a great All Blacks career.


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