Northampton have announced that fly-half James Grayson has signed his first senior contract with the club, keeping him at the Saints until 2021.
The 20-year-old England age-group international first signed with the senior academy at Franklin’s Gardens back in 2016, but has now penned a deal with the first-team.
And Grayson – who has featured in eight of Saints’ first-team matches so far this season, starting five – is relishing the prospect of representing Northampton for at least two more seasons.
“Northampton is my home and Saints is the club I’ve supported all my life, so naturally I’m ecstatic to be signing,” he said.
“The club have supported my development throughout my junior career and I’ve never imagined playing anywhere else.
“We’re going through an exciting period of change at Franklin’s Gardens at the moment and I’m certain that Northampton is the best place for me to grow as a player. We’ve got a great environment here and I’m learning so much from the coaches and senior players.”
A former student at Northampton School for Boys and rugby captain at Moulton College, Grayson’s first club was Old Northamptonians where he moved through the age groups and earned international honours with England U17s and U18s, while a member of Saints’ junior academy.
Grayson excelled while wearing the Red Rose, with standout performances – including scoring 21 points in victory over Wales – helping England win the U18s Five Nations Festival in 2016.
He continued that form into the U20s side, featuring in both the 2017 and 2018 Six Nations and World Rugby U20s Championships for England.
Grayson also helped Northampton Wanderers lift the Premiership Rugby A-League trophy twice in consecutive years, breaking into the first team midway through the 2017/18 season, and scored his first try in Black, Green and Gold as Saints defeated Bristol Bears on home soil earlier this term.
“James is a young player with heaps of talent and an excellent work ethic to make the most of his ability,” said Saints director of rugby Chris Boyd.
“We’re thrilled James has bought into the vision for the future here at Franklin’s Gardens and I’m excited to see him continue to grow in a Black, Green and Gold jersey.”