James Fish and George Furbank have committed their futures to Northampton Saints, by putting pen to paper on new deals which will see both players remain at Franklin’s Gardens until 2021.
Products of Saints’ thriving academy system, Fish and Furbank have enjoyed an excellent 2018/19 season so far.
Hooker Fish scored five tries in pre-season before crossing the whitewash against Dragons in the recent European Challenge Cup fixture.
The Derby-born 22-year-old first broke into the Saints side during the 2016/17 season, scoring his first points in Black, Green and Gold with a brace against Scarlets in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
And after helping the Wanderers to back-to-back Premiership Rugby A League titles in 2017 and 2018, Fish is relishing the prospect of adding to his 16 senior appearances for Northampton to date.
“I’m really looking forward to the next two years, and I’m determined to work hard and play as regularly as I can,” the young hooker said.
“This is my third season since making my senior debut, and it’s a great squad to be part of. We’re all striving to get better every day and I’m positive this is the best possible environment for me to grow as a player.
“There’s strong competition in my position, which can only be a good thing for all of us, and I’m very much looking forward to further developing my game with Saints.”
Furbank, 22, was also a part of Northampton Wanderers’ double triumph in the A League – but has really grasped the bull by the horns when presented with first-team opportunities at Franklin’s Gardens.
After scoring on his full debut against Exeter Chiefs in the 2017 Anglo-Welsh Cup, the Bedford-educated fullback has started six Saints matches this season and scored in a resounding Premiership Rugby Cup victory over Bristol Bears.
Furbank said: “I’m obviously delighted with the opportunities I am getting to represent Saints at the moment, and now to sign my first senior contract with the Club.
“It’s fantastic to know I’m here for at least another two years. I’m still young and learning a lot from the great players and coaches around me, but without doubt Northampton is the best place for me to grow as a player.”
Fish and Furbank have 15 first-team appearances between them to date this season, and both have impressed Saints director of rugby Chris Boyd with their performances.
“James and George are talented, hard-working players who suit the style of rugby we want to play,” said Boyd.
"Keeping young talent at the Club is a very important part of our long-term strategy, so we are delighted to see another two promising footballers commit their future to Saints.
“It’s really important to see Academy players successfully make the transition from age-group rugby to the wider squad – James and George are great examples for our younger players to follow.”