WELLINGTON - All Blacks prop Owen Franks rarely speaks publicly, preferring to let his ruthless expertise in the dark arts of the front row do his talking for him.
Despite a reluctance to hog the limelight, Franks will be the centre of attention when the specialist tighthead plays his 100th test for New Zealand in their Rugby Championship clash against Australia at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday.
The 30-year-old becomes the second centurion for the All Blacks within the space of seven days after his Canterbury Crusaders team mate Sam Whitelock achieved the feat in the 38-13 victory over the Wallabies in Sydney last week.
Franks will become the ninth player to achieve 100 caps for the All Blacks and coach Steve Hansen said his dedication to training, conditioning and nutrition was a major factor in his longevity.
"He is a 120 percenter," Hansen told reporters on Thursday. "He is a dedicated athlete. He and his brother (Ben) set some massive standards on how to prepare. He has risen the bar in this team without having to say too much."