INTERNATIONAL centre Mark Percival has expressed his delight after signing a new five-year deal, which will keep him at Saints until the end of the 2024 season.

Percival, expected to be out of action with a sternum and shoulder injury for a while, has vowed to repay the faith Saints have placed in him.

It is the second long-term contract Saints have secured this week with the club announcing a four-year extension for teenage scrum half Lewis Dodd yesterday.

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Percival, who has been on Saints' books since joining as a 14-year-old from Halton Hornets, said: "I am over the moon. I have loved being at this club since I joined at the age of 14.

"Leaving has never really come into my mind and to be offered a five year deal, I am buzzing.

"I have known Mike Rush and Eamonn McManus for a long time now and for them to put their faith in me to be at this club for so long is something I am humbled by and I want to repay them with my performances."

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Having worked his way through the Academy set-up Percival made his first team debut against Leeds Rhinos in the 2013 scoring 10 tries in his first season at the club.

He swiftly established himself in the Saints team, and became a regular in the 2014 title-winning season, kicking three goals in the 14-6 Grand Final win over Wigan.

His form earned him selection for England's Four Nations squad in 2016 and the following year's World Cup.

He has twice been selected in the Super League Dream Team.

Percival bagged his second Grand Final ring last season, scoring a try in the win over Salford at Old Trafford, one of the 12 he scored last year.

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So far the 25-year-old has scored 88 times in 160 appearances in the red vee and has kicked 230 goals.

Head Coach Kristian Woolf said: "I’m delighted Mark has signed a new deal with us. He’s as tough as they come and although only in his mid-twenties is a player with a vast amount of experience.

"Having won two Grand Finals he clearly knows how to win and that is hugely beneficial to our group and the younger players.

"We will miss Percy over the coming weeks given his injury, but when he is back fit I have no doubt he will continue to be an important player for us over the coming years.”

Those sentiments were echoed by chairman Eamonn McManus.

"I believe Mark Percival to be the best centre in England at the moment and with potential to get even better.

"It’s therefore great news for us and for Super League that that Mark has signed a new five year deal.

"It’s unfortunate that he is currently out injured for a while but I’m positive that he’ll return stronger and better and have a great career with us."