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Rob Baxter lauds 'exceptional' England duo after vital win

GLOUCESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Exeter Chiefs' Henry Slade in action during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Gloucester Rugby and Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm Stadium on April 28, 2024 in Gloucester, England.(Photo by Bob Bradford - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Exeter boss Rob Baxter hailed the contributions of England internationals Henry Slade and Immanuel Feyi-Waboso after Chiefs kept their play-off hopes alive by beating Gloucester.


Centre Slade scored 13 points in a 38-17 Gallagher Premiership victory at Kingsholm, while wing Feyi-Waboso scored one of Exeter’s five tries.

“They are good players, and when we give them a platform to be able to work from they show how exceptional they are,” Baxter said.

“When you get the ball up and moving and a defence shifting, someone like Manny is going to be lethal. He is a talent isn’t he? And we have got more to come in this back-line as well.”

Slade recovered from his surprise England World Cup squad omission earlier this season by starring for Exeter and working his way back on to the Test match arena in the Guinness Six Nations.

And Baxter added of the 31-year-old: “He was annoyed and frustrated by it (World Cup omission), but I think he has moved beyond that and he is looking around and enjoying playing with these guys, which is bringing the best out of him.

“The way he talks to the lads is brilliant.

“It is not like he is some sort of father figure saying ‘you need to do this’. He is in the middle of the group saying ‘we are going to front up today and we are going to get in their faces’.


“He is not trying to be the wise old owl, he is right in the thick of it with the lads, and that is what we want from him.”

Match Summary

Penalty Goals
Drop Goals
Line Breaks
Turnovers Lost
Turnovers Won

Exeter still have it all to do in terms of the play-offs, lying four points adrift of the top four with only two regular season games left.

But they kept themselves in the mix ahead of remaining fixtures against Harlequins and Leicester through a bonus-point success.

Slade’s creative midfield presence caused Gloucester problems all afternoon, while he also kicked a penalty and converted all five of Exeter’s tries from flanker Jacques Vermeulen (two), full-back Dan John, Olly Woodburn and Feyi-Waboso.


Ninth-placed Gloucester undoubtedly had an eye on next weekend’s European Challenge Cup semi-final appointment with Benetton, and they never seriously threatened Exeter despite tries by wing Jonny May, flanker Jack Clement and lock Arthur Clark, while fly-half Charlie Atkinson added one conversion.

Gloucester rugby director George Skivington said: “I don’t think we were quite there today, and we said there was a risk of what we have got next weekend creeping into our mindset.

“I haven’t lied, I have got half an eye on that. And that was evident in the first half.

“Exeter were definitely up for it today, fighting for their lives, and that was the difference. They beat us for intensity, and that is the most disappointing thing.

“I am not happy with the Premiership this season, and there is a good summer for us to go and have a look at our game.

“We want to be better in the Premiership, and I definitely won’t be happy with the league this season.

“It has been a season of highs and lows. It’s a balance. You win some silverware (Gloucester won the Premiership Cup), but you don’t do so well in the Premiership, which is disappointing.

“I am very disappointed with today. I am not going to pretend I am not.”



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1 Comment
Tom 84 days ago

Slade was exceptional against Gloucester. Not only was he doing the classic Slade stuff of running amazing lines and timing passes to perfection to put his wingers into space, he was kicking goals, flying off the line smashing people and crashing into rucks like a flanker… his hair even looked on point. 😍

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Jon 26 minutes ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

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Wonton 7 hours ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

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