Aviva Premiership: Vunipola brothers sign new Saracens deals
England forwards Billy and Mako agree "multi-year" extensions with the Allianz Park outfit as player retention drive continues
Saracens have confirmed that Billy and Mako Vunipola have signed “multi-year” contract extensions.
The duo have become pivotal figures in the Sarries pack in recent years and join a number of other England internationals committing their future to the Aviva Premiership club.
The pair of them are both under 25 and they are the cornerstones of a very exciting pack of young forwards for this club.
Despite their exit from the European Champions Cup at the semi-final stages, Saracens have received a timely boost for the Premiership run-in as they ramp up their player retention.
Instrumental backs Owen Farrell and Brad Barritt have both signed new long-term deals with the club, as have young England forwards Maro Itoje, George Kruis and Jackson Wray with director of rugby Mark McCall keen to build his squad around the club’s talented youngsters rather than follow a number of other clubs in splashing the cash on southern hemisphere imports ahead of the Rugby World Cup later this year.
“We’re delighted that Mako and Billy have extended their contracts with the club,” McCall told the club’s website.
“The pair of them are both under 25 and they are the cornerstones of a very exciting pack of young forwards for this club.
“They bring a huge amount on the pitch and both have achieved an incredible amount in such a short space of time.
“They also contribute off the field in terms of the group and the environment at the club.
“We’re very happy that they both see their future at Saracens.”
Mako, 24, joined the club in 2011 from Bristol, while Billy, 22, followed his brother to the club from Wasps two years later, and both have helped drive the Allianz Park club forward.
As well as helping the club to a Premiership and Heineken Cup final in 2014, the brothers have become key figures in Stuart Lancaster’s England squad and are expected to be involved at the Rugby World Cup in September.
Currently third in the table with two rounds to play, Saracens are again in the hunt for a Premiership play-off place and number eight Billy, who has 17 England caps to his name, admits he is really happy to sign a new deal.
“It was a very easy decision to remain at Saracens,” Billy said.
“The environment really helps me with my rugby and also my time away from the game.
“I’m really happy to stay and with the way things are going.”
Loosehead prop Mako, who has 20 England caps to his name and picked up three caps with the British and Irish Lions in 2013, adds that the club has a strong core player base and he is excited for the future.
“I have been at the club a bit longer than my brother and I’ve really enjoyed my rugby and the club have really looked after me,” Mako said.
“There is a really good young core in the team now with people like Jamie George, Owen Farrell, George Kruis, Jackson Wray, Maro Itoje, and my brother.
“I am excited to see how far we can go and I want to be around and enjoy my rugby with them and see how we can improve as players.
“We made two finals last season and this year I feel we have improved our game.
“There have been a few tough times, but it’s been really pleasing how we have bounced back from that.”