sport

Northampton quintet sign up

Northampton forwards Tom Wood, Christian Day, Sam Dickinson, Mike Haywood and Ben Nutley have all signed new contracts with the club.

Flanker Wood has developed from a promising prospect to becoming a senior figure for both club and country during his three years with the Saints.

He was the Aviva Premiership's Player of the Season in 2010/11 and led England on their unbeaten tour of Argentina in June this year.

Lock Day has been at Franklin's Gardens throughout the Saints' recent renaissance, helping the team win the Amlin Challenge Cup and LV= Cup and playing in the Heineken Cup and Aviva Premiership finals.

Dickinson has established himself as a first-team regular this season and the No 8 has already won a Steffans Player of the Month award this term.

Hooker Haywood, 22, passed the 50-appearance mark earlier this campaign after graduating from the Senior Academy and his big-match experience includes the 2013 Aviva Premiership final and the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship final.

Flanker Nutley, 21, also recently came through the Saints Academy system and has 41 first-team appearances under his belt as well as England U20 honours.

Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder said: "We're delighted that all five players have signed new contracts with us.

"They have all grown and developed in their time with us and have put in plenty of hard work on and off the field.

"Our aim is to have as good a squad as we possibly can, and this starts with making sure we re-sign the quality players we have here already.

"It is a big statement for both the club and the players that these agreements have been done so early."