Owen Franks set for European debut

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Northampton host French club Lyon at Franklin's Gardens and both Franks and Proctor will be on the bench for the game.


Returning to the side from World Cup duty are, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Cobus Reinach, Dan Biggar and former Blues midfielder Piers Francis.


Franks, who arrived at the club last week, told Northampton media, "What attracted me to be here was a different competition and a really tough one.


"I've been playing Super Rugby for about a decade now and it became a bit same-old for me.


"Also, to be a world-class tighthead, as a scrummager you need to cut your teeth in the northern hemisphere, not just the southern hemisphere.


"There are different styles of scrummaging and that's the main appeal for me coming over here," he said.


Looking to his first game at the weekend, Franks, who will join his brother and fellow former All Black Ben (injured at the moment) at the club, said, "There's a buzz around the place and I'm really excited because it's a competition I haven't played in.


"Everything's new for me and very exciting. It seems like we've got a huge amount of depth here.


"I'm pretty new so I don't know everyone too well but it seems like a strong squad," he said.


Franks was already aware local fans were expecting big things from the club this season.


"It's been huge for me to have my brother here and him and his wife have helped me to set up all the things that make it hard when you shift, like bank accounts and the house.


"They've made my move really easy," he said.


Franks said he had been keen to get to Northampton as soon as possible but having to be on standby for the All Blacks in case of injury, he wasn't able to be released until the end of the World Cup.


"I've been excited to come here since I signed. I've been interested in the Premiership and English rugby for a long time and I've always been keen to come over here and cut my teeth.


"I was in limbo a little bit but it was quite good to get involved in the domestic rugby in New Zealand, the Mitre 10 Cup.


"I was still able to keep match-fit and keep my mind off the World Cup, stay involved in rugby and look forward to being here," he said.


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