Henry Slade contract extension confirmed


All the recent speculation about Henry Slade and his future at Exeter has finally been put to bed by an announcement on Thursday by the Chiefs that the England midfielder has signed a contract extension to stay at Sandy Park.

Rob Baxter’s double-winning Premiership and Champions Cup squad of 2020 has been broken up in recent times, with numerous mainstays from that side moving on.

However, the rejuvenated Slade won’t be going anywhere following a season where the 31-year-old’s improved displays for Exeter resulted in his Guinness Six Nations recall with England where he started all five matches after he was left out of their Rugby World Cup squad.

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It was 13 days ago when RugbyPass reported that Slade was on the cusp of agreeing to a one-year deal to stay on at Exeter and that agreement has now been confirmed. A statement read: “Exeter and England centre Henry Slade has committed his future to the club by signing a new contract.

“Since his debut against London Welsh in November 2012, Slade has become synonymous with the Chiefs shirt with 230 appearances and 858 points already to his name… He has been highly anticipated as a re-signing announcement in recent weeks, with teammates still due to follow in committing their futures to Chiefs.”

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Gallagher Premiership

Leicester

Exeter Chiefs

Slade said: “There were a lot of factors behind my decision to stay at Exeter Chiefs. I love the club, I’m from just down the road and my family gets to come nearly every weekend to watch me play at Sandy Park.

“I joined the academy at 18, so the club is all I have ever really known as a professional rugby player. I feel very lucky to be able to say I’ve represented the club over 200 times.

“I call Exeter my home. I have started a young family here – my eldest daughter starts school in September – so it just felt right to stay. The club has been my whole adult life, so I just didn’t feel like it was time to go.

“There is an extremely strong group coming through now, and I’m relishing being one of the senior boys in amongst a group with so much potential to do some great things.

“We have started to speak in recent weeks of putting that ‘potential’ label behind us though and start backing it up. We feel throughout the season we have had a lot of games to be learning and improving in and while we are ahead of schedule of where we thought we’d be, we’ve got the boys to be able to do some great things.

“Wanting to see what I could achieve with a new group did serve as a bit of a refresher as it posed a new challenge. I’ve been here for 12 years with a lot of the same faces, and it felt like a very different club this year. Coming into pre-season, it was an exciting challenge.

“I’m more experienced now but I feel like I’m only just coming into my prime. I feel physically in really good shape, mentally excited about what I’m doing and the opportunities here. So, I’m really looking forward to continuing my career here.”

Director of rugby Rob Baxter added: “I feel we have got a lot of key re-signings done for next season, which is a huge part of our recruitment. We obviously feel that we’ve got a team that’s really going to grow over the coming seasons but, the truth is, Henry is probably the key-stone to the process.

“He has had an incredibly good year, he is quite rightfully up there as one of the players of the year across the Premiership. For us, he has been an important player for years. He has embodied what being an Exeter Chief is all about.

“How hard he has worked, how much he has sacrificed for the team, how he personally has grown and helped the team to grow – they are all qualities that have made him a great Exeter Chief. We are absolutely delighted he is staying at Sandy Park.

“He has been a huge part of what we have achieved for several years. He has been fantastic this season, in working very hard himself and setting such high standards for himself, and that’s led to him being rewarded with some great performances in an England shirt.

“He has been a great leader for us and guided a strong, youthful team to do well in both Europe and the Premiership. The way he has trained and played, I can still see him being a real force both internationally and at club level for quite some time yet.”





Source link: https://www.rugbypass.com/news/exeter-statement-henry-slade-contract-extension-confirmed-rob-baxter/

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