Franks looking forward to brotherly reunion at Saints

Owen Franks and Ben Franks will team up at Saints next season
Owen Franks and Ben Franks will team up at Saints next season

"I only realised how well we get on when I hear other people talk about their brothers!"

That is Ben Franks' assessment of his relationship with younger sibling Owen, who will be joining him at Saints next season.

At 31, Owen is four years younger than Ben, but they have always been close.

And next season, the formidable New Zealand duo will team up once again in the bid to drive Saints to glory.

"I think we'll get on pretty well," said Ben, when asked what kind of relationship he and his brother enjoy.

"Tonnes of people have come up to me and said 'I can't stand my brother' or this or that, but during the job we've had and the environment we've been in for a long time, we've got on pretty well.

"We grew up in a small town so Owen was always kicking around with me and my friends.

"Then when we moved to out in the country we always enjoyed each other's company.

"When I started progressing with rugby, again Owen was there and we were training partners.

"This is probably the longest spell we haven't been training partners.

"We've sort of been together all the way through so it will be nice to have him here."

It has been quite a journey for the duo since they emerged back in New Zealand.

Both have two World Cup titles to their name, with Owen the All Blacks' most-capped prop, playing more than 100 times for his country.

Ben has passed the half-century mark and the experience that both will be able to offer Saints next season should prove invaluable.

"Owen will be coming after the World Cup and he's a good professional," Ben said.

"He'll train hard, he'll play hard and he'll give everything he's got to the team.

"Initially it will be really exciting for him because he's coming somewhere new.

"He's been in New Zealand a long time and here it is quite different in a lot of ways because he'll be in a team with a lot of English guys in a totally different competition.

"He'll be pretty excited."

And what is Owen like off the field?

"He's a family man now," Ben said. "He's got his wife and two boys.

"When he's not playing rugby he likes to spend a lot of time with them."