Former Harpenden schoolboy Maro Itoje extends Saracens stay

PUBLISHED: 10:39 24 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:39 24 January 2019

Saracens' Maro Itoje is tackled by Glasgow's Jonny Gray during the Heineken European Challenge Cup, pool three match at Allianz Park, London. Picture: DAVID DAVIES/PA

Saracens' Maro Itoje is tackled by Glasgow's Jonny Gray during the Heineken European Challenge Cup, pool three match at Allianz Park, London. Picture: DAVID DAVIES/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Former Harpenden St George’s pupil and Harpenden Rugby Club junior Maro Itoje has committed to a second decade with Saracens.

Saracen's Maro Itoje during the Gallagher Premiership match at Allianz Park, London. Picture: VICTORIA JONES/PASaracen's Maro Itoje during the Gallagher Premiership match at Allianz Park, London. Picture: VICTORIA JONES/PA

The 24-year-old has put pen to paper on a new contract that will see him stay with the Men in Black until 2022.

The big second-row forward said: “I’m really pleased to be staying on at Saracens.

“I’ve been at the club for 10 years now so I am really excited to see what the future holds for this great team.”

It has been a meteoric rise for the talented Itoje who only picked up a rugby ball for the first time when he went to the Sun Lane school.

England's Maro Itoje in action during the Quilter International match with New Zealand at Twickenham in November. Picture: ADAM DAVY/PAEngland's Maro Itoje in action during the Quilter International match with New Zealand at Twickenham in November. Picture: ADAM DAVY/PA

He signed his first professional contract seven years ago and made his senior debut in 2014 before captaining England Under-20s to the Junior World Championship.

He was named 2016 European Player of the Year and skippered Sarries to the LV Cup title the following season at just 20-year-old.

From there back-to-back Champions Cups and three Premiership gongs followed and he could lead England, for whom he has been capped 29 times, in the upcoming Six Nations should Saracens’ team-mate not recover in time from minor surgery.

His director of rugby at Allianz Park Mark McCall added: “At Saracens, we take pride in developing players from within.

“Maro is an exceptional young man, on and off the field and it’s been a privilege seeing him develop. We are thrilled he is staying with us.

“He is part of a large group of home grown players who have committed their futures to the club.

“We are excited about exploring their potential and where we can go as a team.”

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