'Exceptional' Itoje signs new deal with Saracens

London (AFP) –


England forward Maro Itoje signed a new contract with Saracens on Wednesday and was described as "an exceptional young man, on and off the field".

Itoje, widely regarded as one of the best second rows in world rugby, agreed a three-and-a-half year extension after making his 100th senior appearance for the club earlier this season.

"Saracens is delighted to announce Maro Itoje has committed his future to the club," a Saracens statement said.

"The 24-year-old, who became a Sarries centurion in October, has put pen to paper on a deal until the summer of 2022."

Itoje has made 26 senior appearances for England and played in all three Tests for the British and Irish Lions during their drawn series in New Zealand in 2017.

"I'm really pleased to be staying on at Saracens," he said. "I've been at the club for 10 years now so I'm really excited to see what the future holds for this great team."

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall added: "At Saracens, we take pride in developing players from within.

"Maro is an exceptional young man, on and off the field, and it's been a privilege seeing him develop. We are thrilled he is staying with us."