‘Beyond poor’ – Exeter Chiefs’ teaser video splits opinion as Henry Slade confirms future 

Jared Wright
Exeter Chiefs star Henry Slade.

Exeter Chiefs star Henry Slade.

Exter Chiefs have split opinion online following a teaser video on Henry Slade’s future at the Premiership club.

The experienced England international’s contract expires at the end of the season and after months of speculation he has come to a decision.

Exeter made the most of the ambiguity around his future with a video seemingly suggesting that he would leave the side that he has represented for over 10 years while also hinting that he could be staying on.

Exeter Chiefs split opinion

In a social media post that was captioned ‘Thank you Henry’, Slade speaks about his love for Exeter Chiefs and his time at the club.

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However, the post was shortly followed by confirmation from the club that he was, in fact, staying after signing a new contract ahead of the 2024/25 Premiership season with another posting reading, “Wait, you didn’t think he was seriously leaving, did you?”

The social media ploy has been met with praise and criticism from fans.

“Imagine fumbling the bag so hard that you make a big emotional video, but your fans don’t know if their star player is leaving or has signed a new contract. Incredible stuff, genuine,” Blood and Mud podcast host Josh Gardner wrote.

While Paul Williams noted that it was “beautifully ambiguous” with another reacting by saying that it is “One of the rugby announcements of all time.”

But the backlash was just as staunch.

“I love you @ExeterChiefs but you do regularly try my patience with your woeful comms to loyal supporters. This is not at all ‘clever’ and may just be the worst of the bunch….in a crowded field!” one fan angrily reacted.

Another added: “Ambiguity, particularly on SM, does more harm than good. Chiefs need to re-think their entire SM game, because it’s weak. Putting out a tweet giving a time for THIS, is beyond poor. Vacuous guff. By the time you (actually) announce it now, either way, you’ve already ruined it.”

Neil Fissler was rather critical of the tactic, posting: “This is one of the worst pieces of social media in the history of the Premiership. Very, very poor.”

Regardless of the reaction, the post has been a hit with their X post garnering over 200K views at the time of writing.

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Henry Slade stays

Speaking on the decision to remain at the Chiefs said there was a lot to consider as he weighed up his options.

“There were a lot of factors behind my decision to stay at Exeter Chiefs,” he said.

“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 have represented the club over 200 times.

“I call Exeter my home. I’ve 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 am relishing being one of the senior boys in among a group with so much potential to do some great things.

“Wanting to see what I could achieve with a new group did serve as a bit of a refreshener, as it posed a new challenge.
“I have 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.”

The 31-year-old has won an LV-Cup, two Gallagher Premiership titles and a Champions Cup crown at Exeter while his international honours include 62 Test caps and playing in the 2019 Rugby World Cup Final.

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