Planet Rugby

Hill extends Exeter stay

06th March 2014 08:48

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Sam Hill Exeter Celeb v Cardiff

Academy product: Sam Hill

Sam Hill is looking forward to a bright future with the Exeter Chiefs after agreeing terms on a new two-year contract extension.

In what has been a breakthrough year for the powerhouse 20-year-old centre, Hill's impressive on-field form has been rewarded by head coach Rob Baxter, who is clearly keen to ensure one of the club's brightest talents remains on board for the foreseeable future.

Not only has Hill established himself as key performer for the Chiefs both in the Aviva Premiership and Heineken Cup, but he added to his growing international stature by featuring for the England Saxons in their recent friendly with the Irish Wolfhounds at Kingsholm.

Hill's new deal means the Exeter-born back will remain with his hometown club until at least the summer of 2017 - and is a clear indication that the Devon club are more than happy to put their long-term trust in the growing array of talent that has come through the ranks of the club's Academy set-up.

"I'm delighted with the new contract and very happy to stay around where I was born and where I have grown up," said Hill.

"It's really exciting for me and I'm very happy to be extending my stay here for a few more years.

"Obviously since the start of the season I didn't really expect to play as much as I have done, but it's been brilliant and I have learnt so much already this year.

"When Rob came to me and said do you want to sign an extension, it was fairly easy to say 'yes' - as I said the club have been brilliant ever since I joined and each year you can see it is getting better and better, so it was an easy decision for me to stay around."

Along with Luke Cowan-Dickie, Joel Conlon, Henry Slade and Jack Nowell, Hill was one of a quintet of Exeter youngsters who last year helped England's Under-20s side to lift the Junior World Championships for the first time ever.

Hill, along with Nowell, were both try-scorers in the final against Wales, whilst Slade kicked the remainder of the points as the Red Rose country triumphed 23-15 in Vannes.

The Chiefs provided the largest contingent of players from one club in that England squad and Hill insists the work being done within the club's academy programme is bearing fruits all the time.

"The coaches here at the club have really helped all of us young lads, the work they've done has enabled us all to get the recognition that we have with things like the Under-20s and even the Saxons," added Hill.

Rob Baxter believes Sam Hill underlines the "success story" of the Exeter Chiefs Academy after the young back today agreed a new two-year contract extension with the Aviva Premiership club.

The 20-year-old centre, whose new deal will take him through until the summer of 2017, becomes the latest member of Baxter's squad to pledge their future to the Chiefs in recent weeks.

Hill's rise through the Exeter ranks - particularly this season - has certainly been impressive and Baxter feels the Exeter-born starlet has all the right attributes to make to the summit of the professional game.

"I think he's a good example of a success story of our academy, and one we think will thrive for the next three years, and hopefully develop into a full international player, not just a Saxon," said Baxter.

"It's great that Sam wants to stay and is prepared to commit so early. It's one of the signings that makes me smile, when a local player who has progressed through our academy commits long-term to the club."

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