Northampton Saints announced today that a further 19 first-team players have committed their futures to the Club by signing contract extensions.
Seven internationals are amongst those to pen new deals, with England’s Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Teimana Harrison, Piers Francis and George Furbank joining Wales fly-half Dan Biggar and Scotland centre Rory Hutchinson in agreeing terms to stay at Franklin’s Gardens.
Earlier in the week, rumours circulated that club stars Courtney Lawes and Dan Biggar were in the crosshairs of Beziers, a Pro D2 club in France that is set to be bought by new billionaire owners.
Alex Mitchell, Alex Moon and Fraser Dingwall – three Saints Academy graduates who all received their first England squad call-up during this year’s Six Nations – have all also put pen to paper on contract extensions.
Meanwhile, the likes of Club co-captain Alex Waller, Mikey Haywood, David Ribbans, James Grayson, Ehren Painter, James Fish, and Lewis Bean have all also been rewarded for a string of impressive performances in Black, Green and Gold this term, plus Alex Coles and Samson Ma’asi move from Northampton’s Academy set-up into their first senior contracts.
The 19 players announced today follow a further nine Saints (Henry Taylor, Karl Garside, Harry Mallinder, Tom Collins, Paul Hill, Ahsee Tuala, Api Ratuniyarawa, Connor Tupai, and Ollie Sleightholme) who have also committed their future to the Club in 2020.
“Getting so many influential players bought in to what we’re trying to achieve, and committed to staying with us for an additional two or three years, is a huge coup for Saints,” said Director of Rugby, Chris Boyd.
“The connection and co-operation of our players to back the Club long-term has been great to see.
“We firmly believe we have the players in place already at Franklin’s Gardens to compete at the very highest level of English and European rugby, and to challenge for every trophy available to us.
“We have a great balance of emerging and world-class players at our disposal, with a home-grown spine to the team, so it was vital for us to keep this exciting group together and build the core of our side.
“Moreover, 17 of these 19 players are English qualified; part of our responsibility is to produce players capable of representing England and we are confident we can continue to do that within this group and throughout the rest of the squad in the coming years.
“The entire squad and staff deserve huge credit for how they have handled the situation caused by the pandemic over the last few months. There’s been a massive amount of effort put in behind the scenes to make sure everyone remains together, and now we’re training again you can see how hungry our players are to rip in to matches when it is safe to do so.”
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