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Henry Slade: England future could have bearing on new Exeter deal

Henry Slade

Henry SladeHenry Slade has scored 145 points in all competitions this season, including six tries

Exeter boss Rob Baxter says Henry Slade’s future with England could have a bearing on whether he signs a new deal with the Premiership club.

Slade, 30, is in the final year of his contract and missed out on a place at last year’s World Cup.

But his excellent form this season has helped Exeter to second in the league and two impressive European wins.

“That will probably help him make his decision around what he wants to do,” Baxter said on an England recall.

“We want to keep him, he knows we want him to stay, so we’re in that little bit of a limbo process at the moment where I think Henry just wants all the information on the table as to what’s happening with England.

“Then he can sit down with an open mind and assess all his options – I think that’s where we are with him.”

Henry SladeSlade’s most recent England cap came in a defeat by Wales in August in a World Cup warm-up match

Baxter has already said Slade’s leadership of a young Exeter side should lead to Steve Borthwick bringing the 56-cap centre back into the England squad for the Six Nations.

And while he hopes Slade will extend his stay at the club where he started his career, Baxter says it is a decision which will involve factors other than England selection alone.

“Henry may well decide to stay at Exeter even if he’s not in the England team.

“I don’t think there’s any forgone conclusions here anywhere, and there won’t be any forgone conclusions for any players.

“Every player’s going to weigh up all their options, aren’t they? Length of contract, the amount of money there is involved, the cost of moving, whether they want a new challenge.

“Some of our players last season left just because they’d been at Exeter their whole careers and they wanted to try something different.

“The financial stuff played in there as well but they wanted something different, new experiences, and you can’t blame them for that either.”

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