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Henry Slade and Exeter Chiefs smash stalemate with new deal

By Neil Fissler
Henry Slade of England walks through the tunnel prior to the Guinness Six Nations 2024 match between France and England at Groupama Stadium on March 16, 2024 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Dan Mullan - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

England outside centre Henry Slade has pledged his future to Exeter Chiefs by finally signing a new one-year contract with the option of a one-year extension that both parties can take up.

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Plymouth-born Slade, 31, looked certain to be leaving Sandy Park to join the recent exodus from the club and the Premiership across the Channel and move to the Top 14 when Steve Borthwick left him out of his World Cup squad.

Slade had talks with Stade Francais after Borthwick told him he wasn’t in his 33-man squad the day after playing in their first summer series game with Wales because he wanted cover on the wing. One of the back-line positions Slade hasn’t played.

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“There were a lot of feelings, disappointment and probably some anger. You work your entire career for opportunities like that and I feel like I’m in my prime,” Slade admitted earlier this season.

But he bounced back, starting all five of England’s games in the Six Nations, which persuaded him to turn his back on a lucrative move to France where his former Chiefs team-mates Jack Nowell, Joe Simmonds, Sam Simmonds, and Harry Williams.

Scottish international lock Jonny Gray is set to join Bordeaux following his release by the Chiefs, and Georgian international tighthead Nika Abuladze has agreed to join Sam Simmonds and Williams in Montpellier.

Slade, who has made 23 appearances this season and scored six tries, started his career with his hometown club, Plymouth Albion, on a dual registration with the Chiefs before going on to win two Premiership titles and the 2020 Champions Cup.

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He was a World Cup runner-up in 2019, coming off the bench in the semi-final win over the All Blacks and the final defeat at the hands of the Springboks.

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