Saracens are delighted to announce that forward duo Maro Itoje and George Kruis have both signed new deals to remain at Allianz Park until 2019.
The England second row pair both progressed through the Saracens Academy system and have now followed the likes of the Vunipola brothers, Jamie George, Will Fraser and Duncan Taylor in signing new deals with the Aviva Premiership champions.
Speaking about Itoje and Kruis’ contract extensions, Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said: "We are extremely happy that Maro and George have committed their futures to the Club. Both are part of a core group of players who have progressed from the Academy to establish themselves as key players within the squad. They have been in superb form this season for both club and country, they are only going to get better and better as players, and we’re excited about them doing it here at Saracens."
"Maro’s progress over the last few seasons has been phenomenal. He’s experienced a lot of big games for the club already, has played for England and is still only 21 years old, which is incredibly exciting. In George, we have one of the finest lock forwards around, a player who has shown consistent improvement year on year and still has so much more to come."
Maro Itoje’s rise from the Saracens Academy to England international has been meteoric. Since making his full Sarries debut against Leicester Tigers in May 2014 he has gone on to captain Saracens to LV=Cup glory and pick up a Premiership winners’ medal in Saracens’ defeat of Bath at Twickenham in last season. This season, Itoje has taken the international game by storm with a series of fine displays for England in the recent Six Nations championship.
Speaking on extending his deal with the club, Itoje said: "I’m extremely lucky to call Sarries home and I’m delighted to extend my contract for three more years. It was an easy decision from the outset, as I’ve really enjoyed my rugby so far and I’m incredibly grateful for the help and guidance I have received since arriving at the club as a 14 year old.
"The club is hugely ambitious and has been competing at the highest level for some time. As a player you want to be playing in the big games, and once again we are well placed in both the Aviva Premiership and European Champions Cup this season. It’s a special club to play for and I’m really happy to be staying."
Five years Itoje’s senior, lock partner George Kruis has become a cornerstone for both club and country in recent seasons. The Dorking RFC junior was another one of the Saracens players who played a key role in England’s Grand Slam success. Since graduating from the Saracens Academy alongside fellow teammates Owen Farrell, Will Fraser, Jamie George and Jackson Wray in 2008, Kruis has gone on to make 118 appearances for the north Londoners.
"Saracens is a club that is in my heart, and I didn’t hesitate to sign a new deal to stay here,” said Kruis. “I owe so much to the Club and I am really looking forward to my future at Allianz Park. What’s really important to me is that as a young group of players we are all committing our futures to the club together. I’m playing alongside my best mates and working alongside them day-in, day-out and that means a lot to me. We’ve already achieved so much as group of players and there’s still so much more to come from us, I’m delighted to be staying here."
Maro Itoje Fact file
- Made his Saracens debut against Cardiff Blues at Allianz Park in the LV=Cup, January 27 2013
- Made his full Premiership debut against Leicester Tigers on May 10 2014
- Captained England U20s to the 2014 Junior World Championship
- Made his England debut against Italy in February 2016 and has won 4 caps
- Has captained Saracens to both the Premiership A-League and LV=Cup title’s
- Has made 47 appearances for Saracens
George Kruis Fact file
- Kruis has made 118 appearances for Saracens
- Educated at St John’s, Leatherhead, he learned the game at Dorking RFC from the age of seven and went on to represent London & SE U18.
- He graduated from Saracens academy alongside current senior players Owen Farrell, Will Fraser, Jamie George and Jackson Wray.
- George made his Saracens debut against Northampton Saints in November 2009.
- Made his England debut against New Zealand at Twickenham in November 2014 and has won 15 caps.
- He is Saracens’ RPA representative and has graduated from Hertfordshire University in November 2014 with a First Class Honours Degree in Business and Economics.
- George is also a patron of the ‘Henry – Health Exercise and Nutrition for the Really Young’ charity. A National charity that supports families so that children get the best start in life.