Premiership: Rob Baxter signs new Exeter Chiefs deal to rule himself out of England role

Colin Newboult
Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter believes the absence of relegation until the 2024/25 campaign will create even more shock results in the Premiership.

Exeter Chiefs have announced that director of rugby Rob Baxter has agreed a new long-term contract with the club.

He is joined by Ali Hepher, Ricky Pellow and Rob Hunter in extending their deals with the Devonians.

Baxter, Hepher and Pellow all joined the club’s coaching staff in 2009 and led them to promotion to the Premiership in 2010.

Historic double in 2020

They, alongside Hunter who signed in 2013, then guided the Chiefs to their first top-flight league title in 2017 before the double followed in 2020 as they won both the Premiership and Champions Cup.

Although Exeter have struggled in recent times, the club has once again placed their trust in their coaching staff.

It means that Baxter, who has long been thought of as a potential England coach, will not take up a position with the national team following Eddie Jones’ sacking.

Exeter chief executive Tony Rowe said: “I am delighted that we have been able to secure the futures of four of our core coaches.

“As a collective, they have been instrumental in the rise of the club in recent seasons, helping bringing a genuine level of on-field success.

“Having spoken with all of them, I know they share the same vision as myself of driving the club on to even greater things in the coming years.”

Baxter added: “Over the years, we have achieved a lot together, but I think I speak for all of us when I say we are all hungry to achieve more.

“Believe it or not, we take it pretty personally when the team don’t perform like we should, and that is the motivating factor for all of us.”

Baxter did comment on the England coaching situation, stating that he was “a little surprised” by Jones’ departure.

Grumblings and rumblings

“I kind of thought with the timing getting towards this second half of the season, through the Six Nations and building towards the World Cup, I was a little surprised the decision got made now,” he told reporters.

“There were grumblings and rumblings, but there are always are when England don’t win.

“But I will admit I was surprised the decision got made now.

“I have just signed a contract extension with Exeter, so my intention is to stay here.

“If you are asking have I applied for the England job? No. If you are asking me am I one of the guys under consideration? No, I am not.

“I have got a close affiliation to the club, my family has got a close affiliation to the club.

“It works me for me family-wise, and I am very proud of what we have achieved here.”

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