Baxter cools Slade exit talk

Date published: December 14 2016

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter has rubbished rumours linking centre Henry Slade with a move away from the Premiership outfit.

Recent reports have suggested that the England international, who inked a three-year deal in September 2014, could be on his way to Bath.

But Baxter has poured cold water on such claims and revealed that the playmaker is happy at Sandy Park and won’t be going anywhere.

“One jungle drum rumour that I can put to bed and that’s interesting everyone is that of Henry Slade. I’ve had a couple of chats with Henry and had a joke with him about all the rumours that are flying around because there is no truth in him having any interest in going to Bath,” he told Exeter‘s website.

“That’s been a talking point for us on the jungle drums this week, but I’d also like to say that if he does end up playing at ten, it won’t be because we are being told by Eddie Jones he needs to play ten – and he won’t be playing ten because I am worried that if we don’t play here there he will go and play for Bath, so there is one jungle drum rumour I can put to bed straight away.”

Baxter continued: “It’s not unsettling to us as a club, to me, or even to Henry, and I don’t believe for one minute it’s unsettling to Bath or any other clubs that get linked into the rumours because it’s unusual if head coaches and players don’t have a close enough relationship for us to know if those sorts of things were going to happen.

“It’s not unsettling for me to read anything about Henry as I know he’s under contract here and I know he’s fully committed to us, and he’s desperate to do good things for us, play well for us, and for us to win things.

“We have a bit of a laugh about it, it’s one of those things that happens, but that is what sport is all about. It is good that people want to talk and chat and find interesting things to talk about, that’s what we want to do, I have no problem with promoting the game and it being something we talk about.

“If anything football can command a 24-hour day radio programme just to talk about football, it would be nice if we could do that about rugby, we can’t do that at the moment, but there is no problem if rugby gets promoted in whatever way it can.”