Former Old Albanian pair set for longer Saracens stay
PUBLISHED: 13:32 12 October 2017
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Two former Old Albanian players have signed contract extensions with Saracens.
Academy players Nick Isiekwe and Max Malins have signed two-year deals that keeps both players at the club through to 2020.
Nineteen-year-old Isiekwe, who stands six foot seven inches tall and also used to play for Verulamians, has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the last 18 months.
He made his first-team debut in November last year and has played in all of Saracens’ Aviva Premiership games this term.
He was also named in Eddie Jones’ England squad for this summer’s tour of Argentina and continues to prove his worth as one of the team’s rising stars.
Fly-half Malins, 20, was on loan at Woollams for two years.
His debut came off the bench in Saracens’ win over Wasps in last season’s Anglo-Welsh Cup and also helped lead England Under-20’s to the Junior World Championship final this summer.
Saracens’ director of rugby Mark McCall said: “It’s very important for us as a club to see academy players make the transition from age-group rugby to the wider squad.
“In Nick and Max, we have two players who are showing huge promise and have a number of senior appearances under their belts already.
“We now have a number of players in our squad who have come through our academy system, which is very important to the health of the club as a whole.”
On earning the new deal, Isiekwe said: “It’s really promising and obviously really pleasing.
“This is my third season now, so to get that new contract and to see what I can do in the next few years is what I am looking forward to.”
Malins added: “To be able to come in here and train every day - keep getting better - and know that I’m going to be doing that for the foreseeable future is something I’m very happy about.”
The pair are the latest to come through the academy route, following the likes of Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Jamie George and Jackson Wray.
On the influence the system has had, Malins said: “It’s good to not only have role models in your position, but it’s such a good environment where you can speak to anyone.
“As a group we can learn so much from everyone around us.”
Isiekwe added: “We have examples everywhere. If we can take a leaf out of their book and see how they’ve done it - how they stay true to what they do - we will be happy and it will put us in good stead as well.”
Saracens have also announced that Welwyn Garden City-born Jamie George has penned a new three-year extension.