The 108-test, dual World Cup-winning veteran was the biggest name left out of Steve Hansen’s 31-man squad, which was announced at Eden Park in Auckland on Wednesday.
Hansen and his fellow selectors – Ian Foster and Grant Fox – have instead opted for the likes of Nepo Laulala, Ofa Tu’ungafasi and Angus Ta’avao, who they believe present a bigger ball-carrying threat than Franks.
Unless injury strikes in Japan, the 31-year-old’s culling from the side appears to have brought an end to his illustrious 10-year career with the All Blacks, as he will join Premiership club Northampton at the end of this year.
Speaking to Newshub, Franks spoke of his emotions about being dropped from the All Blacks.
“I’m disappointed,” he 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.”
Hansen revealed at the team naming that he had briefly spoken to Franks over the phone to address his culling from the squad.
“[It was] pretty short .. but I don’t have long conversations with a lot of people,” Franks said of their conversation.
Despite the disappointment that naturally ensues after missing out on World Cup selection, Franks remained philosophical about his decade-long tenure in the national set-up.
“I really can’t sit here and complain. I’ve been to two World Cups and been lucky enough to win two medals,” he told Newshub.
With no international obligations required of him, Franks will now turn his attention to the Mitre 10 Cup, where he will play with Canterbury for the remainder of the season before departing to England.
With just 18 domestic appearances to his name since his provincial debut in 2007, Franks could make a rare appearance in the red and black hoops this weekend, when Canterbury host Southland in Christchurch.
Both teams are yet to taste victory this season, so the addition of the front rower would be a welcome one for last year’s runners-up.
All Blacks midfielder Ryan Crotty has also been made available for Canterbury on Saturday as he continues his return from a fractured thumb.
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