Academy stars sign new contracts with Saracens

By Dominique Stafford in Rugby

SARACENS have announced that they have extended the contracts of seven academy players.

Centre Tom Griffiths, half-back Tom Whiteley, and prop Hayden Thompson-Stringer have all signed deals which will see them graduate from the academy to join Sarries’ senior squad from the start of next season following in the footsteps of last year’s graduates Joel Conlon, Nathan Earle, Titi Lamositele and Henry Taylor.

Meanwhile, props Ralph Adams-Hale and Billy Walker, fly-half Max Malins and back-three player Matt Gallagher have put pen to paper on contract extensions with the club’s senior academy.

Whiteley and Malins have both impressed for Sarries’ first team in the Anglo Welsh Cup this season, while Gallagher gave an assured performance on the wing on his Premiership debut at Bristol earlier in the campaign.

“I’m very happy for all of them,” said academy manager Don Barrell. “These lads have worked extremely hard to get where they are and we’re excited to see the continue their development at the club.

“There is another crop of players coming up, plus another crop after that, so at the minute the youth system is looking really good.”

Saracens’ director of rugby Mark McCall added: “Over the last seven-and-a-half years our academy has been right at the heart of the development of the club.

“The likes of Jamie George, Owen Farrell, George Kruis and Jackson Wray have become mainstays in the first team and they’re now leaders of this group.

“Underneath them we have Maro Itoje, Nathan Earle and Nick Tompkins, and hopefully this new batch will be around for a long time to come too.”

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