All Blacks benefit from 2017 trials

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Lynn McConnell     28 Aug 2018     Getty Images

Franks, who was presented with his distinctive Test centurion's cap by former Test hooker and fellow centurion Keven Mealamu after Saturday's game at Eden Park, said there was a good feeling developing in the All Blacks' camp.

"It's only five games into the season so there's still a long way to go but the feeling in the group is really good. I think especially what they went through last year, all the changes and guys stepping up. They did really well those guys coming through and I think we're maybe seeing some of the benefit of that now but, like I said, it's still early days," he said.

Franks said he hadn't grasped the enormity of reaching 100 Tests until the week leading into the milestone achievement and he was proud to have achieved the mark.

"I was pretty humbled by all the support that was shown," he said.

It had been especially satisfying to have Mealamu present him with his special 100-Test cap.

When he came into the All Blacks, Franks said Mealamu had treated him as an equal from the outset and had shown him the way to being a good All Black on and off the field and he had a huge amount of respect for him.

But all the fuss and hoopla paled into comparison with the All Blacks managing a job well done in backing up their first Test effort in Sydney with another good performance to secure the Bledisloe Cup for another year.

"It was the icing on the cake for me really. It was the main reason why we were there," he said.

"That is what we were focused on. The desire in the team to keep that Cup every year is huge so it's nice to have it locked away."

Franks felt the Wallabies' scrum had improved on their first Test effort, especially with Scott Sio back in the frame. He said he had a lot of respect for Sio and while there had been a few collapsed scrums that had been a sign of both teams not wanting to give an inch and they had been a strong scrum.

He said his back-up on the tighthead side of the scrum Ofa Tuungafasi had a 'real growth mindset' and was always looking to get better.

"I think he's always been a really great athlete but over the last couple of years his game's just grown and he's adding strings to his bow all the time and I think he's going to be a really good Test prop," he said.