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Owen Franks receives English intel from Northampton-based brother

Former All Blacks prop Ben Franks was seen at All Blacks training in London earlier this week, with younger brother Owen making the most of his England-based sibling’s knowledge.

The elder Franks gave Owen the inside word on loosehead props Alec Hepburn and Ben Moon, who he will battle on Saturday.

“I’m lucky to have my brother over here playing in the Premiership for Northampton so he’s had a bit of experience with both guys so I had a chat to him,” Owen Franks told NZME.

“I’ve done my due diligence for sure.”

Asked by media if Ben was a spy within the English camp, Franks laughed.

“No, he’s not in the England camp. He just plays against them,” he said.

Owen proceeded to share the knowledge he gained from his brother.

“Moon is really experienced. He’s played for Exeter for a long time so he’s a pretty destructive scrummager. Playing 10-odd years in the Premiership is not easy.

“Hepburn has a sound technique and looks like he loves to have a crack so they’re both really tidy props.”

Franks also revealed how the front rowers have kept wounded soldier Joe Moody in good spirits. Moody, a fellow Crusaders prop, suffered a freak eyelid laceration at training, ending his tour.

“We keep it pretty light hearted with Joe. If it was the other way around he would be straight into you. Nothing is off limits with him.”

Franks also backed newcomer and front-row partner Karl Tu’inukuafe to grab his opportunity against England with both hands.

“He’s pretty nonchalant about the whole thing, takes it all in his stride. That’s the thing that probably impresses me the most. He’s relaxed but he can turn it on when he needs to. He’s a really good guy too,” he said.

“It’s a big challenge. I don’t think I need to say anything to Karl. He’s played a lot of rugby in the French second division which is renowned for scrummaging. He’s new to test rugby but he’s been around the block for quite a while in terms of scrummaging experience so he’ll be really excited by it.”

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Owen Franks receives English intel from Northampton-based brother | RugbyPass