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Lawes planning bright future at Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints tied down seven new contracts this week and as one of those who signed on, Courtney Lawes is expecting more success down the line.

Lawes, Calum Clark, Alex Waller, Ethan Waller, James Craig, Gareth Denman and skipper Dylan Hartley each put pen to paper at Franklin’s Gardens.

It is a welcome boost ahead of this weekend’s derby clash with Leicester Tigers, as the reigning Aviva Premiership Rugby champions seek to maintain their spot at the top of the table over Christmas.

With Harlequins away completing 2014 and a string of tricky encounters to come after New Year, Lawes knows there is still a lot to do – but he is confident of helping the club to more silverware soon.

“It is good, especially with a few long-termers like me and Dylan signing new deals,” he said.

“He is the skipper and he is very integral to the team, just in terms of who we are. He leads from the front and helps create our identity, which we follow.

“We have got a lot of contracts tied down and a lot of very good players staying and I can really see us pushing on for the rest of this season and moving forwards.

“It wasn’t really a straightforward decision. I was willing to move if I had to.

“This is probably going to be the biggest contract of my career and I had to be prepared to look at other offers, but Northampton were able to offer me a great deal and I am enjoying my time here.”

Saints are coming off the back of a productive European fortnight, beating Benetton Treviso twice – the latter a 67-0 thrashing in front of their home crowd.

And Lawes insists the club’s ruthless nature, which has already seen them collect crushing league wins against Gloucester Rugby, Sale Sharks and London Welsh, is an important asset.

He added: “We went into the two weeks against Treviso and said ‘this is ten points – it has to be’.

“As a team it is what we have to expect from each other and it is what we have got to strive for.”

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