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Some of rugby's best missing from first World Cup in Asia

(AP) -- The phone call was short. "I don't have long conversations with a lot of people," Owen Franks says with a rueful laugh.

Even phone calls with New Zealand coach Steve Hansen, under whom Franks had been the starting tight-head prop for more than 10 years, and under whom Franks won the 2011 and `15 Rugby World Cups.

Less than a month out from the Rugby World Cup in Japan, Hansen called Franks to tell him that although he was "one of the great All Blacks," he didn't make the squad because there were bigger and quicker props in contention.

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