Maro Itoje staying in England as star second row announces new long-term contract with Saracens
England forward Maro Itoje has signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract with Saracens, the Gallagher Premiership Rugby club have announced.
Itoje, 24, who started out in Saracens' academy, made his 100th senior appearance for the club earlier this season.
"Saracens is delighted to announce Maro Itoje has committed his future to the club," read a statement on their official website. "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, who signed his first professional contract seven years ago, is widely regarded as one of the best second rows in world rugby.
"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."
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.
"He is part of a large group of homegrown players who have committed their futures to the club. We are excited about exploring their potential and where we can go as a team."
Itoje made his senior debut for Saracens against Cardiff Blues in 2014 before captaining England Under-20s to the Junior World Championship title.
He was appointed Saracens captain aged 20 and has led the London-based club to back-to-back Champions Cup successes and three Premiership titles.
Itoje has made 26 senior appearances for England and played in all three Tests for the British & Irish Lions during their drawn series in New Zealand in 2017.