Teimana Harrison has signed a contract extension with Northampton Saints which will see him stay at Franklin’s Gardens until at least 2022, the Club has confirmed.
The 26-year-old New Zealand-born back-rower first arrived in Northampton back in 2011, but has gone on to make 120 appearances in Black, Green and Gold so far and earned five Test caps for England in 2016.
Harrison’s unrelenting play has made him a supporter favourite at Franklin’s Gardens, and earned him the reputation as one of the Gallagher Premiership’s most dangerous ball carriers.
The loose forward has made more carries, tackles and turnovers than any other Saints player in the Gallagher Premiership this season.
But with the ink now dry on a new three-year deal Harrison becomes the ninth Saint to re-sign for the Club in recent weeks, and he is delighted to be staying in Northampton for the foreseeable future.
“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 and 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 – bringing up a century of caps in Black, Green and Gold last season.
Director of rugby Chris 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."