Northampton Saints have signed Scotland international centre rory Hutchinson to a new contract at Franklin’s Gardens.
Hutchinson was named the club’s Breakthrough Player of the Year for last season after coming into his own under attack coach Sam Vesty to light up the Saints backline.
His form saw Hutchinson enter the frame for Scotland honours, winning a debut Test cap against Georgia in the lead up to the World Cup in Japan.
But his omission from Gregor Townsend’s final 31-man squad and the team’s subsequent failure has led to calls for the 23-year-old to become a prominent member Scotland’s plans for the upcoming Six Nations.
Hutchinson’s influence for Saints, at least, is secured for the future with this extension.
“I feel like I have been living out my dream over the last six months or so, playing for Northampton Saints and making my international debut for Scotland,” Hutchinson told the club’s website.
“Franklin’s Gardens is a fantastic place to play rugby; I trust in Chris Boyd and what he and all the coaches here are doing at the club, so I’ve no doubt that this is the best place for me to develop even further and win more silverware in the coming years.
“Ever since I first pulled on the Black, Green and Gold jersey, I was desperate to win trophies with Saints and that ambition definitely still burns brightly.
“There are some seriously gifted players around me in Northampton, and I’m really confident together we can achieve a lot over the coming years.”
Hutchinson has been on the road to greater things with Northampton since helping their Wanderers side go back-to-back in the Premiership Shield.
Fast-tracked into the first team after the arrival of Chris Boyd as director of rugby, the Kiwi coach expressed his pleasure at having Hutchinson commit to his plans at Franklin’s Gardens.
“Hutch is a high-skill player who has made a significant step up in his performances over the last 12 months,” said Boyd.
“Right from when I arrived in Northampton, I was impressed with his skillset, willingness to try new things and the effort he makes to improve his all-round game.
“He has seen that pay off with awards and a call-up to play for Scotland this summer, all of which was richly deserved, but crucially he has not taken his foot off the accelerator and has picked up where he left off so far this season in trying to fulfil his huge potential.
“I’ve no doubt Rory will be an important player for us over the coming seasons, and our supporters love watching him play, so we’re thrilled to see him sign on again.”
Hutchinson is fast approaching 50 appearances for Northampton, scoring 13 tries in 46 matches for the Midlands club.
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