Saints hand new deals to highly-rated duo

Tom Collins has signed a new deal at Saints
Tom Collins has signed a new deal at Saints
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Saints have tied two of their brightest prospects to new contracts with Tom Collins and Lewis Ludlam committing their future to the Franklin's Gardens club.

Wing wizard Collins has made 45 first-team appearances since graduating from the Academy, scoring 11 tries in the process.

Highly-rated flanker Ludlam, who, at 22, is a year younger than Collins, has made 12 appearances for Saints.

Collins made his first-team debut against Gloucester in January 2013 and has gone on to play in some key games, against the likes of Leicester and Leinster.

The former Northampton School for Boys pupil claimed the LV= breakthrough player of the season award for 2014/15 and had played his part in Saints' Premiership and Challenge Cup double during the previous season.

Lewis Ludlam is staying on at Franklin's Gardens

Lewis Ludlam is staying on at Franklin's Gardens

“I’m delighted to be staying at Saints having been here for the entirety of my career so far,” said Collins, who has been sidelined in recent weeks with a foot injury.

“Ever since I first pulled on the black, green and gold jersey, I have wanted to help Northampton become the best club in this country and in Europe – and that ambition definitely remains the same.

“I can’t wait to get back on the pitch and help the team finish this season as strongly as possible.”

Ludlam made his Saints debut in an Anglo-Welsh Cup win at Newcastle Falcons in November 2016 and has played five times so far this season, scoring against Saracens at Twickenham on the opening day of the campaign.

A few injury problems have set him back, but the forward is a player of real potential and he helped the Wanderers claim the Prem Rugby A League title last season.

“I’ve already had some incredible highs in my time at Franklin’s Gardens, and I cannot wait to make many more memories here at my childhood club.

“Helping the Wanderers win the A League trophy last year was a fantastic experience and I’m really excited to try to win plenty more silverware with the Saints.”

Saints will look to build their squad around the likes of Collins and Ludlam in the years to come.

And chief executive Mark Darbon said: "Tom and Lewis are fine examples that our Academy is still thriving and we are of course delighted that the pair have committed their future to the club.

“We want to build a world-class team with a backbone of home-grown talent, and Tom and Lewis certainly have the potential to have a huge role in that looking forwards.”