Saints 'ticking all the boxes' for prop star Franks
Ben Franks is 'hungry and excited' to be at Saints as he continues preparations for his first season at the club,
The experienced prop, who has 47 New Zealand caps to his name, linked up with his new team when they returned to training last week.
Franks has arrived from London Irish and is reunited with boss Chris Boyd, renewing the relationship the pair built at Super Rugby side the Hurricanes.
And Franks is already loving life at Franklin's Gardens as the 34-year-old bids for one last hurrah in rugby.
"I feel hungry and excited to be here," Franks said.
"It's ticked all the boxes for me after a good break.
“I suppose I was looking for something a bit different, a bit of change, because I'm definitely coming towards the end of my career and I just wanted one last opportunity to do something in rugby.
"Saints is a big club with a big history so that was really enticing.
"The more I heard about Saints it reminded me of Christchurch or Canterbury where I’m from. It’s a real rugby town and that’s what I grew up in and I wanted that feeling again.
“Playing here last year, at Franklin’s Gardens, I know they have some of the best attendances in the Premiership and that was something that really drew me here.
"Obviously I knew Chris Boyd having played with for him for a season at the Hurricanes so I knew how he goes about things and that really enticed me, too."
Boyd was clearly a key factor in Franks' decision to join Saints.
And the front row forward, who can play on either side of the scrum, added: "I just found Chris really black and white - he is who he is. A yes is a yes and a no is a no.
"Those are the sort of people I really react to.
"As the season goes along, people will find out his personality.
"In rugby, the more you have in common with the coaches, it's more of a happy environment, and knowing Chris has made me more comfortable coming to a new team."
So how has pre-season training been so far and are Saints setting any targets for the new season yet?
“It was a tough week last week, but the first week of pre-season always is – you’ve just got to get yourself through it,” said Franks.
“But it was nice to finally get it started, get up here and meet everyone. First week down, it went really well.
"We're only just starting our second week so each week they will slightly drip-feed things in terms of where the team's looking to go during the season.
"The team will slowly develop.
"We've got a six-week block, 10 days off then a camp in Wales so I'm sure they've set targets for the whole way through pre-season."