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Aviva Premiership
Saints boosted by double re-signing
ESPN Staff
November 8, 2012
Northampton's George Pisi goes on the charge, Leicester v Northampton, Anglo-Welsh Cup Final, Sixways, Worcester, England, March 18, 2012
George Pisi has re-signed with Northampton © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Vasily Artemyev | George Pisi
Tournaments/Tours: Aviva Premiership

Northampton Saints have been handed a massive boost with the news that two of their international contingent Russia's Vasily Artemyev and Samoa's George Pisi have opted to re-sign with the club.

The pair both arrived at Franklin's Gardens after the 2011 World Cup and have shone in the green and gold of Northampton. Pisi scooped both the Supporters' Player and Players' Player of the Season award and he is looking forward to kicking on over the coming seasons.

"I'm enjoying my rugby over here," Pisi said. "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.

"My wife is enjoying her time here as well, which is very important to me, and Northampton is a good place. Having Ken here is a bonus, it makes us a family. The fans are passionate and have made our stay here very pleasant. Hopefully there's a lot more to come from all of us!"

Artemyev, who has 30 caps for Russia, crossed for a hat-trick on his debut and he is relishing the chance to develop his game at Saints.

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

"The whole town has been good and the people have been friendly, which has been important for myself and my partner to settle. It's a good squad and a good place to come into work, but while everyone says that there is a lot of potential here at the Saints we know that we have to keep on working. Having said that, there's a lot more in the tank for all of us."

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," Mallinder 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.

"We have a squad which includes England players on long-term contracts, already this year some of our best Senior Academy youngsters have put pen to paper, and with George and Vasily both having plenty more years in front of them we believe that the pieces are in place for a legacy of success at the Saints."

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