Ford-Robinson relishing chance to learn from Franks at Saints

Jamal Ford-Robinson is looking forward to learning from World Cup winner Ben Franks at Saints next season.

Jamal Ford-Robinson is looking forward to learning from Ben Franks (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Jamal Ford-Robinson is looking forward to learning from Ben Franks (picture: Sharon Lucey)

The 33-year-old former All Blacks prop will move to Northampton from London Irish this summer, linking up with his old Hurricanes boss, Chris Boyd.

And Ford-Robinson is relishing the chance to work with Franks, who specialises at tighthead.

"I'm really excited by that signing because he's in my position so hopefully I can learn a lot from him," said the former Bristol front row forward.

"He's a great person to bring to the club and he's obviously got a connection to Chris Boyd so that will be part of the reason he's chosen to come here.

"It's a very good signing and I'm excited by that."

But before Franks and Boyd arrive at Saints, the current crop of players will aim to show their mettle in the final five Aviva Premiership fixtures.

The first of those comes at St James' Park on Saturday as Newcastle Falcons play host to the black, green and gold.

And Ford-Robinson knows the run-in will be a chance to impress Boyd, who will arrive from the Hurricanes this summer.

"I didn't get a chance to see him (Boyd) when he came over last week, but I know a couple of the boys met up with him and had some good things to say about him," the prop said.

"He's going to see what he wants to see in pre-season and leading into next season, but if you can leave some sort of impression in his mind over the summer, it's always going to help you out.

"I personally don't know who we've got left to play - I just go weekend by weekend.

"Although there might not be much to play for in terms of getting up the table, but there's still time for people to show what they're about and us as a team to show what we're about.

"Hopefully we can finish on a bit of a higher note."

Saints got last week off as they were not able to make the Anglo-Welsh Cup final.

It was their first weekend out of action since August.

And Ford-Robinson said: "It was good to have time off. It's not even so much the physical side here because we're quite good here at resting guys if they're carrying a niggle.

"It's more the mental side of things that can start to accumulate so just having a couple of days away from everything is very nice.

"We were targeting getting something out of the Anglo-Welsh Cup and it was disappointing not to progress to the final after a hard-fought game at Bath, but it's another one of those things that is happening this season.

"There have been some ups and downs, but where we are now is a lot better than where we were going back a couple of months.

"We might not be getting the results, but I think it's setting us up well as a team and hopefully for a strong finish.

"Saturday is going to be a big game up at Newcastle.

"It's the first Premiership game at St James' Park so that will be good.

"Newcastle are a very good side this year and they always play well at home.

"It's definitely a big game and you can tell by the training that the boys are really looking forward to it."