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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sports News: Lawes signs new Northampton deal

England lock Courtney Lawes has signed a new deal with Northampton that will keep him at Franklin's Gardens until 2015.

Lawes, who has 13 England caps, helped Northampton win the European Challenge Cup in 2009 and last year's LV= Cup after making his debut against Esher four years ago. They also runners-up in the Heineken Cup last season.

"Securing the signatures of players like Courtney for three years is very important for us as we look to make the next step up as a club," said director of rugby Jim Mallinder.

"We have been at the right end of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table and playing in the latter 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 and 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."

Lawes also believes his best rugby still lies ahead and that Northampton is the best place for him to achieve that.

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

"It's good to sign on again and see myself with a future at the club. I enjoy playing here and working with the coaches and want to stay here for as long as I can.

"I think I've improved a lot as a player in recent years, which has all come from playing here and being coached here. The coaches keep us grounded off the field and I've still got a lot to learn from them on the field."

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