Exeter coaches agree new deals

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Coaches Ricky Pellow, Rob Hunter, Rob Baxter and Ali Hepher, seen here celebrating the 2017 Aviva Premiership title success, have all agreed new three-year contract extensions. Picture: PPAUK

By Mark Stevens

Rob Baxter insists he and his senior coaches are excited about what the future holds, after it was confirmed they have all agreed terms on new deals to stay at the Exeter Chiefs.

Director of Rugby Baxter, together with head coach Ali Hepher, forwards coach Rob Hunter and skills coach Ricky Pellow, have all committed to stay with the Devon club until 2023.

Since coming together, the quartet have helped mastermind the rise of the Chiefs, guiding them to Premiership Rugby glory in 2017, as well as three other appearances in the end of season showpiece at Twickenham.

At the same time, they have helped to oversee further success for the Chiefs, including two Anglo-Welsh Cup successes and two Premiership’s A League titles.

Former player and club captain Baxter took charge of the Chiefs ahead of the 2009/10 season - and immediately brought success to the club, working alongside both Hepher and Pellow,steering the club to success in the inaugural RFU Championship Play-Off Final.

Since that memorial night at Bristol’s Memorial Stadium, the trio have been heavily involved in helping the Chiefs to forge themselves as genuine force within the English game. Hunter, meanwhile, joined the club in 2013 following a highly successful stint as England Under-20s head coach, working with the likes of Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Sam Hill and Luke Cowan-Dickie.

Together the four coaches have not only raised standards amongst Exeter’s elite playing group, but they have forged a working partnership that has continued to thrive season upon season.

It’s a formula that clearly works on all fronts and Baxter is over the moon that his team will be sticking together for the foreseeable future as the Chiefs target more glory both in the Premiership and further afield in Europe.

“Personally, I’m absolutely delighted to have agreed a new three-year contract extension,” said Baxter. “However, I’m even more pleased that the other coaches have also agreed similar extensions. I think it’s a real indication of how happy we all are working alongside one another each day.

“Together, we understand the ambitions of the club moving forward - and of how exciting this next period is going to be for the rugby club. I think as a group we all feel that everything we want to achieve can be achieved here over these next three years, so it’s exciting times for all of us and I’m looking forward to us building on the fantastic foundations we have laid as a collective group.”

The decision by the quartet to extend their stays has been welcomed by club chairman and chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE, who said: “This really is fantastic news for the club. In Rob, Ali, Rob and Ricky we have the best English coaches in the business. As a coaching team, not only do they continue to drive our great club forward on all fronts, but they are at forefront of making the Chiefs who we are.

“The success they have brought to the club during their time in charge is there for all to see and I’ve no doubt that in these coming years they will continue to drive us onwards and upwards.”

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Tony Rowe OBE is delighted to have secured the services of the four coaches for another three years

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