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Quins duo sign new deals

Prop forwards Joe Marler and James Johnston have signed new contracts with Harlequins.

Loosehead Marler, 20, has extended his deal until the summer of 2014 after making a big impact for the Londoners since being handed his debut against Leicester at the end of last season. His form this season has been so impressive that he was called into Martin Johnson's England squad for the autumn internationals last month as injury cover.

Twenty-four-year-old Samoa international Johnston, whose new deal runs until 2013, joined Quins from New Zealand club Ponsonby in 2009, and the tighthead has become a regular in the Aviva Premiership club's matchday squads.

Marler said: "I am really happy to have re-signed with Quins. I want to be part of a squad which can win now but also grow together and become a new force, and I think this is the team to do it with.

"It is a great opportunity for me to keep progressing and with so many young players coming through and challenging for starting places, Harlequins is a really exciting place to be."

Director of rugby Conor O'Shea added: "We believe we are a squad that can win things now - but as we build the experience of this group of players, we will become stronger and stronger.

"Joe and James Johnston are two outstanding talents and we are delighted that they, along with so many others within the squad, share the vision we have of building a successful team for many years to come."


From Belfast Telegraph