Francis extends Exeter deal

Date published: September 3 2015

New Wales international Tomas Francis has secured his club future by extending his contract with Exeter Chiefs.

The tighthead prop, who made his debut for Wales in Dublin on Saturday, has extended his deal for a further two seasons through to 2017.

Joining him is promising centre Sam Hill, who has signed through to 2018, as Exeter look to build on a promising generation of academy graduates.

For Francis, who arrived at the start of last year, it's been a whirlwind rise from London Scottish to Exeter and then into the Welsh set-up.

Still only 23, he was named in the Premiership team of the year and head coach Rob Baxter believes there's more to come from the front rower.

"Tom has had one hell of a year," said Baxter. 

"He did very well in the Premiership for us and has been noticed by international coaches. He’s taken each step as it has come and I am really pleased for him. 

"We want to progress with him as well so we have moved pretty quickly to extend his contract and that is what you have to do as a club. When you bring these players on board and they do well, the sensible thing is to move on quickly and keep them part of your club. 

"It was an easy decision for us. Despite what some people might have thought about him playing for Wales and whether that would change what he wanted to do with us, he has been pretty determined to stay in Exeter and extend his contract with us. 

"It was easy for us and for Tom, and I am really pleased he has decided to extend his contract. Hopefully he’ll be an Exeter player for many years to come.

"Tom signed for us from a Championship club and has outgrown the contract he signed with us. From a club perspective, you want to keep that quality together for an extended period. I am a firm believer in when you have the players you want, you don’t want to go changing things. 

"For Tom, it is recognition at how well he has done for us this year. It works both ways. We want to pin him down and keep the squad together and consistent, but it is also nice to say well done to Tom for the positive things he has done for us."