Saturday, May 25, 2024

Henry Slade: England centre signs new Exeter Chiefs contract

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England centre Henry Slade has agreed a new contract with Premiership side Exeter Chiefs.

The 31-year-old has won 62 caps for England and started all five Six Nations games this year having been dropped for last year’s World Cup.

He had been linked with a possible move to France, following the likes of Jack Nowell, Joe Simmonds, Harry Williams and Sam Simmonds, who all left Exeter for the Top 14 last summer.

Slade’s previous contract expired this summer, and the decision means he will remain eligible for England.

Exeter have not disclosed the length of the new deal.

“He’s back in the England squad, playing very well, he’s a real leader here playing great rugby and playing in big games for us,” Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter said.

“I can’t say anything that really conveys how good he’s been this year, both mentally and physically in his performances and his attitude around the place.”

“He’s grown this year with the additional responsibility that’s been put on his shoulders, that takes some doing.”

Slade is the Premiership’s top points scorer this season and has helped Exeter win two English league titles and the Champions Cup since his debut in November 2012.

In all he has scored 858 points in 230 appearances for the Chiefs, having come up through their academy system.

“There’s 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,” Slade said.

“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.”

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