Scottish prop commits next three years to Saints

Scotland international prop Euan Murray will be a Northampton Saints player until at least 2012 after signing a three year deal with the club.

Tight-head prop Murray, 28, has signed a new three-year deal, his second contract at Franklin’s Gardens. A late arrival to the 2007/08 squad due to his World Cup commitments, Murray has so far made 32 appearances for the Saints and scored two tries – one on his debut and another in the East Midlands derby at Leicester earlier this season.

This season he has made the number three shirt his own, turning out 18 times in all competitions despite his international commitments.

As Scotland’s first choice tight-head he has made 26 international appearances to date and crossed the try line twice, against France and Ireland in 2007. His performances for club and country have won him many plaudits and Murray, who is also a qualified vet, is regarded by many commentators as a front-runner for a spot in this summer’s British and Irish Lions touring party.

The player himself is playing down this speculation and is committed to helping the Saints achieve all they can for the remainder of the season.

“There is plenty of rugby still to be played this season and I take each game as it comes, try my hardest and don’t look too far ahead,” he said. “However I am delighted to have signed another contract at Northampton. It is a tremendous club and I have thoroughly enjoyed my 18 months at Franklin’s Gardens so far. Jim Mallinder is putting together a squad and a culture that I am sure will be successful in the future and I want to be a part of that.

“Furthermore the Guinness Premiership is a very tough competition and I have learned a considerable amount during my time in England. I am looking forward to continuing my development at the Saints.”

“I am extremely delighted that Euan has signed another contract with the Saints,” said director of rugby Jim Mallinder. “International class tight-head props are few and far between and Euan is a player who falls firmly in that category. He has shown throughout this season that he is a key member of our squad and someone we can build a successful team around.

“He has put in plenty of effort to improve all aspects of his game since he arrived here in 2007 and continues to work closely with Dorian West. At 28 he is still relatively young for a prop and I am looking forward to watching his further development at first hand.”

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