England prospect Nathan Earle has signed a contract extension that will keep him at Paul Gustard’s Harlequins. The 25-year-old, who arrived from Saracens in 2018, has regularly featured in national team training camps. He was named in Eddie Jones’ wider squad ahead of the 2019 Six Nations after scoring in an uncapped fixture against the Barbarians in 2018 and touring Argentina the previous summer.

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Before sustaining a long-term knee ligament injury against Northampton Saints towards the end of the 2018/19 season, Earle had bagged eleven tries in 23 Harlequins appearances, playing an integral role in a campaign that saw the club fall just short of reaching the Gallagher Premiership semi-finals.

“I’m thrilled to be able to extend my time at The Stoop,” said Earle. “I felt like I was playing some of my best rugby before picking up a knee injury at the end of my first season. I’m still rehabilitating at the moment, but I’m excited to get back out there and pull on the jersey again.

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“Paul has given me a real sense of confidence to go out there and play my game. I’m itching to get back out on the field. It’s exciting to commit to a squad with so much young talent coming through alongside so many experienced players within the group. Once rugby returns, there should be exciting times ahead for the  club.”

Gustard added: “We’re thrilled to have Nathan recommit his future to the club. Prior to his severe knee injury, he was demonstrating to everyone what I personally already knew, that he is a fantastic talent with the potential for explosive, match-winning performances.

“When we lost Nathan to injury, we lost more than just his fantastic talents as a player – we lost his energy, his personality, his competitiveness, and his leadership on the field. He was, and is, a key member of our playing group with the type of strong off-field behaviours and positive mindset that are fundamental to our environment.

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“He has maintained his diligence and professionalism throughout his rehab along with the excellent direction of Elliot Clarke and the rest of our fantastic medical performance group. He has shown us the strength and competitive desire to get back out there in an improved physical condition if that was at all possible!

“I’ve watched Nathan progress as a youngster through to international recognition and latterly excel in his breakthrough season at our club. I have never had any doubts about his rugby ability and even less about him as a person.

“We’re building a very exciting team that has the ability, the drive and age profile to stay together for a long time. It’s going to be a hotly-anticipated moment to see Nathan take the field with other young hotshots like James Chisholm, Cadan Murley and Joe Marchant, to name but three, alongside some incredible and more experienced talent like Danny Care, Joe Marler, and Mike Brown. 

“Mix that in with new signings like Chris Ashton, Andre Esterhuizen and Wilco Louw and we have the ingredients to really move on up when we return.”

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