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After 108 tests, Owen Franks’ tenure as the All Blacks’ incumbent tighthead prop has come to an abrupt end.
The 31-year-old was a shock omission from the All Blacks’ 31-man squad to challenge for the Rugby World Cup, with Chiefs trio Nepo Laulala, Atu Moli and Angus Ta’avao joining Joe Moody and Ofa Tuungafasi in the front row stocks.
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One of the most tightly contested positions in the squad, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said it was an unsurprisingly tough decision to make.
“He is one of the great All Blacks,” Hansen said of Franks. “He’s certainly shown true character. His professionalism on and off the field has been magnificent over the years, he’s played over 100 tests.
“Unfortunately, we as the three selectors, we believe the game requires us to have big, mobile No1s
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