Northampton Saints duo George Pisi and Vasily Artemyev handed new deals

Last Updated: 08/11/12 8:37am

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Northampton stars George Pisi and Vasily Artemyev have signed new contracts with the Aviva Premiership club.

Both arrived at Franklin's Gardens after the 2011 World Cup, and Pisi in particular was a massive success, winning the Supporters' Player and Players' Player of the Season awards.

"I'm enjoying my rugby over here," said the Samoan. "Saints is a good club, I've made a lot of new friends and this is a place which is moving forward.

"We're trying to play a good brand of rugby and Franklin's Gardens is a great place to play. Playing in the Heineken Cup is awesome; it's the best competition in the world."

Russian winger Artemyev, 25, like Pisi played 31 times in his first 12 months.

"I've really enjoyed my time here at the Saints and am excited to sign a new contract," he said. "It wasn't a hard decision to make and I'm really happy to stay at the club.

Successful

"It's been a massive learning curve for me as a player and I think that I still have a long way to go to be at the top of my game, but I'm enjoying my rugby, which is important for me."

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder said that re-signing both players so early in the season is a big statement of intent by the Saints.

"George and Vasily have shown already that they have the ability to contribute to a successful future at Franklin's Gardens," he said.

"George had a superb first season and has carried that on in the current campaign. Vasily has shown regularly that he has the talent to shine in the Aviva Premiership and although he knows that he can still add things to his game he is eager to learn and works with all of the coaches."

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