England lock Courtney Lawes has signed a new two-year deal with Northampton Saints.
The long-serving British and Irish Lion had been linked with a move to France, with Bordeaux-Begles reportedly keen to lure him to the Top 14.
But Lawes has given the struggling Saints a huge lift by extending his stay at Franklin’s Gardens.
The 29-year-old said: “Northampton is my only club and Franklin’s Gardens is home; I was raised just down the road and the club has always meant an enormous amount to me.
“The environment [director of rugby] Chris [Boyd] and the other coaches have been building over the past few months is incredibly positive and something I’m looking forward to continuing to be a part of.
“I’ve still got a lot to give to Saints and I’m excited to see what this squad can achieve together.”
— Northampton Saints (@SaintsRugby) October 19, 2018
Lawes’ new deal is a statement of Saints’ intent, according to Boyd.
“We are delighted that Courtney will play his rugby at Franklin’s Gardens for at least the next two seasons,” the New Zealander said.
“The phrase ‘world class’ gets thrown around a lot in rugby but Courtney’s ability is nothing short of that.
“Saints have a proud history of producing and retaining home-grown talent in Northampton and Courtney is a prime example.
“Building and evolving the playing squad is a real focus for the club – we want to have a combination of talented youngsters together with world-class players, and Courtney’s contract extension is evidence of us beginning to implement that strategy.”
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