Northampton Saints lock Courtney Lawes signs new deal

Northampton Saints lock Courtney Lawes has signed a new deal to keep him at Franklin's Gardens until at least 2015.

The 22-year-old England international has made 86 appearances for Saints since making his debut in October 2007.

"It means a lot to sign a new contract because I've grown up around here," said Lawes.

"Winning the LV= Cup and European Challenge Cup are obvious highlights, as was playing in the Heineken Cup final - even though we lost."

He added: "I enjoy playing here and working with the coaches and want to stay for as long as I can," Lawes added.

"I think I've improved a lot as a player in recent years, which has all come from playing and being coached here."

As well as having 2009 European Challenge Cup and 2010 LV= Cup winner's medals, Lawes has played in two Premiership semi-finals and the 2011 Heineken Cup final.

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder believes that securing Lawes on a long-term deal is a significant step forward for the club.

"We have been at the right end of the Premiership table and playing in the later stages of cup competitions in the past few years, but we want to be in the mix for the major pieces of silverware every year," he said.

"To do that we need top players at Franklin's Gardens.

"Courtney is still maturing and learning as a player, but he has shown even at just 22 years of age that he has all the things you need to succeed.

"He is still learning and we believe that he will continue to improve over the next few years. We're certainly delighted that he will be doing so at Franklin's Gardens."

The signing comes in the same week that Saints announced they were extending the contracts of senior academy players Ben Nutley, Jamie Elliott and Mike Haywood.

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