Nowell and Slade to stay as Exeter beat deadline to extend contracts
Exeter Chiefs have announced contract extensions for 30 first-team players, including England regulars Luke Cowan-Dickie, Jack Nowell and Henry Slade, as well as Scotland captain Stuart Hogg.
Director of rugby Rob Baxter revealed the agreements had been finalised before June 18, meaning only 75 per cent of their value would count towards the Premiership’s reduced salary cap for the 2021-22 season and beyond.
Several high-profile names are believed to have been tied down on three and four-year deals without needing to accept pay cuts. “I’m delighted with what has happened,” Baxter said of a process that also brought extensions for favourites such as Sam and Joe Simmonds.
“It seems strange really, because there has been an awful lot of news coming out from other clubs in regards to what is happening around pay cuts, players leaving, players staying, yet we have got on with our business pretty quickly.
“In the end, we used that period between the salary cap change being discussed and when any new contract that would be allowed in the new salary cap system to be finalised to sort something like 30 contracts. They are not all four-year deals, nor are they all for one year.”
Baxter explained that Exeter’s strong financial position meant that the small number of first-team squad members not to be offered new contracts could still stay on.
Ben Moon, Jack Maunder, Tom O’Flaherty and Elvis Taione agreed new terms during lockdown, while multi-year contracts for new arrivals such as Jonny Gray, Josh Hodge, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Aaron Hinkley remain unaffected.
Baxter added: “Not every player has got an extension, but for those who haven’t, it’s kind of irrelevant because they may well be thinking, ‘Let’s see how the next year goes and where I stand.’ It doesn’t mean they will be leaving.”