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'One of the most talented scrum-halves in the world': Mitchell signs new Saints deal

By Josh Raisey
Alex Mitchell of Northampton Saints celebrates after scoring their second try during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Northampton Saints and Sale Sharks at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens on December 30, 2023 in Northampton, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Northampton Saints have seen their third England international sign a new deal in as many days, with scrum-half Alex Mitchell committing his future to the club.

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This continues the Saints’ spree of contract extensions over the past month, as the 26-year-old becomes the seventh player to confirm they are staying at Franklin’s Gardens.

This is not only a standout season for Northampton, where they are top of the Gallagher Premiership and unbeaten so far in the Investec Champions Cup, but this has been a breakthrough season on the international front for the scrum-half. Mitchell emerged as England’s first choice No9 over the World Cup after initially missing out on Steve Borthwick’s squad. He is bound to add to his eleven caps in the upcoming Six Nations.

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“Choosing to stay at Saints was an easy decision for me,” said Mitchell. “This Club is very special; the coaches, staff and supporters have had my back from day one, and I can’t think of anywhere better to be playing my rugby.

“Playing alongside lads I’ve grown up with week in, week out means a lot to me and I’m loving being a part of this environment and a maturing group of players.

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“Everything that Phil Dowson, Sam Vesty and the rest of the coaches are trying to achieve is so clear, everyone – on and off the pitch – is pulling in the same direction and I think you’ve been able to see that hard work paying off over the last few months.”

“We’re an ambitious group, we want to win things together, and we’re pushing hard for that this season and beyond. And that’s exactly the kind of environment that I want to be in.

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“This has been a huge year already for me personally and I’m excited about what else is to come, with both Saints and England, over the next few seasons.”

Northampton director of rugby Phil Dowson was full of praise for the club’s academy product, labelling him as one of the best scrum-halves in the world, praising the tempo he plays with.

Mitchell is fundamental to Northampton’s style, which is why Dowson described him as the “fulcrum” of the team.

He said: “Getting the ball up and playing fast is a crucial part of our DNA here at Saints, and Mitch is a huge driver of that.

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“He’s very good at creating and attacking space, particularly around the fringes, and his desire to improve is palpable. You can see how hard he’s worked on his kicking game for example; playing international rugby, it is evident how strong that is now.

“There are still areas he’s working on in his game, both for Northampton and for England, and I’ve no doubt he’ll continue to get better and better.”

“He’s still young, and there’s not another scrum-half in the Premiership who attacks the fringes like he does. You can always hear opposition teams calling him out in defence as he is such a fulcrum for us going forward.

“Alex is a massive signing for us; he’s one of the most talented scrum-halves in the world, and a big part of where we want this Club to go. So, we’re delighted that he’s so invested in what we’re doing and has signed on to remain part of this group moving forwards.”

Mitchell is set to add to his 119 Northampton appearances tomorrow when his side travel to Sandy Park to take on second place Exeter Chiefs.

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2 Comments
C
Clive 162 days ago

Not even the best EQ 9 at Saints, journos blow smerk up his Rse because he managed to leap frog two geriatrics in France.

S
Sumkunn Tsadmiova 162 days ago

“…labelling him as one of the best scrum-halves in the world…”

  • So long as you discount Antoine Dupont. And Gibson-Park. And Faf de Klerk. And Aaron Smith. And Cobus Reinach….

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