Saints star Harrison signs new deal at Gardens

Teimana Harrison has signed a new deal at Saints (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Teimana Harrison has signed a new deal at Saints (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Teimana Harrison has rounded off a big few days by signing a new deal that will keep him at Saints until at least 2022.

The No.8 grabbed a hat-trick in Saturday's 48-40 defeat at Clermont Auvergne and, two days later, he has extended his stay at Franklin's Gardens.

It is a big boost for Saints because Harrison has established himself as a crucial component of the first-team squad since making his way through the club's Academy.

The New Zealand-born back rower first arrived in Northampton in 2011, and has gone on to make 120 appearances for Saints so far.

He has also earned five Test caps for England, with all of them coming in 2016.

Harrison’s unrelenting play has made him a fans' favourite at Franklin’s Gardens, and earned him the reputation as one of the Gallagher Premiership’s most dangerous ball carriers.

And with the ink now dry on a new three-year deal, the 26-year-old can't wait to continue to repay the faith shown in him.

“I’m over the moon to sign on again with Saints and excited about the progress we’ve made this first season under Chris Boyd,” Harrison said.

“Northampton is so important to me, as this is the club that gave me my chance; I just want to repay the faith they put in me.

“The supporters here are the most dedicated in the Premiership and I’m excited to try to win more silverware for them.

"We have a brilliant playing environment in Northampton and I'm really looking forward to seeing what the future holds for us.”

Initially scouted by club captain Dylan Hartley when the England hooker visited his old school in Rotorua during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Harrison has turned out to be one of the Premiership’s best discoveries in recent memory.

Born in Opotiki on New Zealand’s North Island, he joined the club’s Academy in 2011 and made his first-team debut one year later.

But it was the 2015/16 campaign where Harrison really began to show his quality; winning the breakthrough player, supporters’ player and players’ player of the season awards for Saints, as well as a Premiership player of the month award.

An England call-up followed in 2016 and after being involved for his adopted country during the successful tour of Australia and subsequent Six Nations campaign, Harrison has sustained his fine form in club colours.

Boss Boyd said: “Teimana is a really important signing; he’s been one of the club’s most consistent performers in recent years, and this season so far has been no different.

“He’s still evolving as a player but the momentum he gives Saints with ball in hand is invaluable, and the effort he puts in every week is a yardstick for everyone at the club.

“So of course we’re thrilled he’s bought in to our long-term goals for Northampton, and I’m confident he will continue to prove himself a vital player for us.”