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Elliot Millar Mills extends contract at Saints

Northampton Saints can today confirm that Scotland international Elliot Millar Mills has signed a new contract to remain at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens.

The 31-year-old prop has made 16 appearances so far in Black, Green and Gold since arriving in Northampton on a trial basis towards the end of the 2022/23 campaign, and signing a full-time contract soon after.

Millar Mills initially joined Saints during an unsettled season where he represented Edinburgh Rugby, Bath Rugby, and the Barbarians – having started the campaign with Wasps before the club went into administration. 

The 121kg tighthead made his Northampton debut in the opening round of this season’s Premiership Rugby Cup against Ealing Trailfinders and has not looked back since, with an impressive string of performances for Saints leading to a Scotland debut last month in the Six Nations.

Millar Mills now has three international caps to his name, following in the footsteps of older sisters Bridget and Harriet, who represented Scotland and England Women respectively.

“Elliot’s had an unorthodox journey through rugby,” said Northampton’s Director of Rugby, Phil Dowson. “He’s played in the Premiership, URC, Championship, and within the National League pyramid as well – and due to some pretty unfortunate circumstances, played for five clubs last season alone.

“It was a brutal year, especially for a guy with a young family. But Elliot is very, very intelligent, picks things up quickly, and has been really consistent whenever he’s played for us. That’s been rewarded with a few caps for Scotland now and I am so pleased for him to be involved in a successful period with them.

“Elliot’s set piece is excellent, and he’s always looking to get better there in his scrummaging, lineout defence, maul attack and so on.”

Phil Dowson, Director of Rugby

“He also gets a lot of involvements all over the park on both sides of the ball – he moves well within our defence and has become really effective in that space, then in attack his running lines and ability to move the ball fits our game really well.

“He’s also quite a different character to anyone else in the group. A lot of the lads are into things like coffee away from the Club; Elliot is teaching himself to code. You need people with different interests and opinions to really make a squad interesting and tight-knit.

“The big thing for Elliot after last season was that he wanted to put some roots down somewhere and show what he’s capable of. He’s grabbed his opportunities with both hands, and to have such a big impact here and then get called-up to Scotland as well in just one season in Northampton is really impressive.”

Millar Mills began his playing career with Stockport and Macclesfield, before a successful trial period with Leeds Carnegie yielded a full-time contract and an initial move north of the border to Edinburgh. He also appeared for England Counties in Canada in 2016.

After turning out 44 times for Ealing Trailfinders in three seasons in the Championship – winning the Championship Cup with the West London outfit in 2019 – Millar Mills joined Wasps in the summer of 2021 and made 21 appearances in all competitions.

After Wasps’ demise, Millar Mills had short stints with Bath, Edinburgh and the Barbarians before walking through the door at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, and the tighthead admits he is relishing life in Northampton so far.

He said: “I’m really enjoying the day-to-day at Saints with the group we’ve got here, and the style of play is a lot of fun, so I’m delighted to extend my contract for longer.

“I’ve got a young family who are really settled here in Northampton, and Saints have been so welcoming for them, which makes a huge difference. I also love playing at cinch Stadium in front of Saints’ crowd – this is a proper rugby club, I’d never experienced a home crowd like it until this season at the Gardens.”

Elliot Millar Mills

“The coaches have also been fantastic with me, and that’s definitely a factor in wanting to stay, as I don’t think I would be managed better anywhere else. Radders [Lee Radford] has put a lot of energy into helping me get better in defence, Ferg [Matt Ferguson] has helped me with scrummaging and nailing down how I should be operating around the park, while Kempy [Chris Kemp] got me in the best condition possible through a tough strongman preseason.

“It’s all still very new and I’ve not given it too much thought, but it’s pretty cool to be able to call myself a Scottish international now. I wouldn’t have done it without Saints. That’s not just down to the team and the coaching – this time last year, I didn’t have a job.

“If Saints hadn’t have come in, I might have been done with rugby, so it’s been a remarkable year. I hope we can do something special together by the end of this season.”

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