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Lawes and Biggar end French rumours by signing new Northampton deals

The club has announced 19 new contract renewals.

ENGLAND INTERNATIONAL Courtney Lawes and Wales out-half Dan Biggar have ended rumours linking them with a move to French club Béziers by signing new contracts with Northampton.

The Premiership club has announced 19 new contract renewals today, with 31-year-old Lawes and 30-year-old Biggar among them.

englands-courtney-lawes-222020 Courtney Lawes in action for England this year. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Lawes had been strongly linked with a move to Béziers in the French media, while it had also been suggested that Biggar was on the newly-wealthy Pro D2 club’s radar. Retaining both key men is a huge boost for Northampton.

The financial issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and salary cap changes have seen English sides scrambling to re-sign players but Northampton director of rugby Chris Boyd will be delighted at the club’s retention of many important players.

England internationals Lewis Ludlam, Teimana Harrison, Piers Francis and George Furbank, and Scotland-capped centre Rory Hutchinson have also signed new deals with the Saints.

Alex Mitchell, Alex Moon and Fraser Dingwall – all of whom were called into Eddie Jones’ England squad this year – are among the 19 too, while co-captain Alex Waller, Mikey Haywood, David Ribbans, James Grayson, Ehren Painter, James Fish, and Lewis Bean have extended their contracts.

Academy pair Alex Coles and Samson Ma’asi have moved onto senior deals, while nine other players - Henry Taylor, Karl Garside, Harry Mallinder, Tom Collins, Paul Hill, Ahsee Tuala, Api Ratuniyarawa, Connor Tupai, and Ollie Sleightholme – had previously agreed to contract extensions with Northampton.

dan-biggar Biggar has signed a new deal with Saints. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“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 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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Murray Kinsella

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