James Chisholm and Niall Saunders: Harlequins duo agree new contracts

James Chisholm
James Chisholm has scored 12 tries in 70 appearances for Harlequins

Harlequins number eight James Chisholm and back-up scrum-half Niall Saunders have signed new deals at The Stoop.

Quins have not revealed the length of the contracts agreed with Chisholm, 23, or 21-year-old Saunders.

Chisholm has filled in as captain this season in the absence of Chris Robshaw and James Horwill.

Ireland youth international Saunders, the son of former Irish skipper Rob, has yet to play a Premiership game for Quins, but has impressed his coaches.

"Niall is a brilliant competitor and his willingness to learn and improve his game makes him a great re-signing for us," head of rugby Paul Gustard told the club website.

Chisholm joined Quins academy in 2013 and made his debut in the same year.

He won the 2014 Junior World Cup with England and the 2015 Under-20 Six Nations, also being named World Rugby's age group Player of the Year that season.

"He has been almost an ever present for us this season and has led the team from the front with his destructive ball carrying, hard hitting defence and his constant work ethic," said Gustard.

"He has a real appetite to get better and improve. He is very proactive in seeking feedback and looking for areas of his game to improve, which is a really positive sign for someone who is young and very clear in what he wants to achieve.

"He epitomises the kind of player we need at this club - he is talented, he is ambitious, he is a stand-up character and he knows how to have fun."