Emmanuel Iyogun, 21, has signed a new long-term contract with Northampton Saints, extending his stay at the club.
Since making his debut in 2020, Iyogun has made 25 appearances in three seasons in Black, Green, and Gold, and after signing a new contract, he will remain a member of Phil Dowson’s squad beyond the end of the 2022/23 season.
In his debut season in 2019/20, he was named the Club’s Breakthrough Player of the Season, having burst into the spotlight with a string of fine performances for the senior side in the Gallagher Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup at the age of 19.
Since then, Iyogun has become one of Northampton’s front-line looseheads, making 20 appearances during the 2021/22 season alone and starting the Premiership semi-final clash against Leicester Tigers.
“I’m really excited to sign on again with Saints,” he said. “Northampton has always been my Club, and choosing to stay within this environment, as part of such a tight-knit squad, was an easy decision to make.
“I trust the Club’s coaches completely; they helped me make the call to switch into the front row when I joined the Senior Academy, and have been with me every step of the way since to support my development.
“I still have a lot to learn but I am looking forward to hopefully repaying the faith the coaches have shown in me, and playing my part in the Club winning some silverware for our supporters in the years ahead.”
Iyogun progressed through the Club’s Academy system, first playing two years above his age group in the back row for Saints’ Under-18s before earning his first professional contract ahead of the 2019/20 season and transitioning into the front row under scrum coach Matt Ferguson.
During his debut season, he earned international recognition by playing loosehead for England throughout the 2020 Under-20s Six Nations Championship, including a match against Ireland at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens.
But, having grown by leaps and bounds over the last three seasons, Director of Rugby Phil Dowson is excited to see Iyogun continue in Black, Green, and Gold.
He said: “Without doubt Manny is a now top-level loosehead. He’s an exceptional athlete and rugby player, who will continue to develop because he has the right mindset and is determined to get better.
“He drives himself and those around him in the loosehead group to improve, and it’s been great to see him take on more of a leadership role within the front row.
“Manny is also a very, very coachable player – he’s bright and he works really hard. You can see that clearly; it’s easy to forget that only three years ago he transitioned into the front row, but already he’s a real handful at scrum time, a brilliant ball carrier and a strong defender.
“His athleticism gets him into positions that are exceptional for a loosehead, and when you look at the best props around the league – specifically how much they contribute away from the scrum – we think Manny has the potential to be right up with the best of them.
“Credit has to go to Matt Ferguson too for all the work he’s done with Manny over the last few years, as well as Mark Hopley and James Craig for bringing him through the Academy and helping him grow as a player.”