Front row pair commit to Saints
TRANSFER NEWS: Northampton Saints announced that a duo of Saints - Alex Waller and Mikey Haywood - have re-signed with the club.
With a total of nearly 400 Saints caps between them, the duo, who graduated from Saints’ Academy, have put pen to paper to extend their time at their only professional club.
Chief Executive Mark Darbon said that the signings are a brilliant advert for the club’s Academy system.
"We’re very happy to have extended the contracts of two more Academy products in Alex and Mikey.
"We not only want to build a world class team but build that with a backbone of home grown talent.
"It’s a great testament to our Academy system and the two have been a huge part of the club’s success over the years. We’re very happy they have chosen to re-commit to the Saints,"
Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder echoed those sentiments, saying: "It’s been great to have seen the two of them develop into the players they are today.
"Both of them have played a large part in the club’s history so far and no doubt they are to be a big part of the club’s future.
"We’re delighted they’ve chosen to stay at Saints,"
Born in Kettering, the 27-year-old prop, who has signed to stay with at Saints until 2021, will forever be remembered at Franklin’s Gardens for his try against Saracens in the 2014 Premiership final to give Saints their first ever title.
Since making his debut in 2009, Waller has since made over 200 appearances in black, green and gold and holds the record for the most consecutive Premiership games with his league appearances dating back to the 2011/12 season opener.
Waller has also experienced international honours, earning two caps with England Saxons before touring New Zealand with the senior England side in summer of 2014 and featuring in a non-capped game against the Barbarians in 2015.
Another Saints Academy graduate, Haywood came through the Wanderers ranks before signing his first senior contract in 2011, making his debut, alongside Waller, in the opening game of the 2011/12 season against Gloucester, has signed to stay at the club until 2020.
Making his 150th appearance for the Saints on the turn of 2017 against the same side, the 26-year old hooker has not only helped the Saints lift both the Premiership and European Challenge Cup trophies in 2014 but was also named in the Premiership Dream Team in 2016 before coming out as they side’s top try scorer last season.
Haywood has also experienced his fair share of international success, securing the Six Nations Grand Slam with England Under-20 before reaching the final of the IRB Junior World Championship that same year.