Baxter's Joy as Slade Signs On
22nd September 2014
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Having already accrued the services of fellow young guns Jack Nowell, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Dave Ewers and Sam Hill until the summer of 2017, the 21-year-old playmaker has joined his colleagues in committing his future to the Sandy Park club.


It was - according to the Plymouth-born back - a simple decision to make and now he aims to kick on further and help the Chiefs to build for the future.


Slade was given his first taste of top flight action last season and quickly impressed featuring strongly as the club collected their first piece of top flight silverware in March with victory over Northampton Saints.


Since then, Slade - who is equally at home at fly-half or centre - has featured for the England Saxons, as well as England in their traditional end of season clash with the Barbarians.


His fine form has gained him many admirers and this term he has struck up a blossoming partnership in the centre with Hill.


Commenting on the deal, Baxter said: “I know this feels later than the other boys, but they pretty much all started their contract talks at the same time. Like anything, we’ve had little bits and pieces to tie up, mainly paperwork, but as far as Henry is concerned he has been signed up for quite some time now.


“As always we don’t like to announce things until all the names are lined up, but that’s where we are this week.


“For me, personally, I’m delighted Henry is staying with us. You only have to see the way he is playing to see what a talent he is. Hopefully over time we can do right by him and mature him and help him become the best player he can be.


“We don’t want him to just be a very good Premiership player, but also an international player. He is committed to us and we have to do the same to him. As a club we will try to make him the best player he can be.”


This announcement is yet another ringing endorsement of the club’s way of looking to bring through locally-based talent through their highly successful Academy set-up.


“We always knew some of our young lads would need to get experience,” continued Baxter. “They  are not going to get any better by not playing. Having said that, they all deserved to be picked last year. The form they showed in the A League, the LV, Europe and in training said they should play and then it makes it comfortable for us to pick them. 


“Yes, you take some pain sometimes because they are still learning out there, but now we are reaping the rewards because they are looking better and better by the week. What we have do is keep their feet on the ground, help them as much as we can, and build a strong team around them, which we have at the moment. 


“Sometimes you have to give credit to the players around guys who are doing well, simply because guys don’t succeed without good support around them and that comes first and foremost from the players in the team.”

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