Williams agrees new Chiefs deal
By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs prop Harry Williams admits it was an ‘easy decision’ to put pen to paper on a new long-term deal with the current Gallagher Premiership leaders.
The England international has been at Sandy Park since 2015, joining the Devon club from Championship outfit Jersey Reds, and he has since established himself as an integral part of the much-vaunted Chiefs pack of forwards.
Part of the club’s Premiership-winning side of 2017, the 28-year-old tight-head has made just shy of 100 first-team appearances, scoring ten tries in the process.
News that the London-born forward will be prolonging his stay in the Westcountry will be welcomed by Chiefs supporters, who have been keen to find out more of Rob Baxter’s squad make-up for next season and beyond.
“It was an easy decision to make,” said Williams. “I’ve been here five years now and I’m very happy down here. Ever since I came to the club, it’s been awesome and I’ve loved pretty much every minute of it.
“I knew when I left Jersey that I was moving to an ambitious club, who would bring the best out of me and challenge me in a testing environment. That’s been the case from day one, but I still feel there is still more to come from me.”
With the Chiefs flying high for a number of years in the Premiership, as well as establishing themselves more prominently on the European stage, Williams believes a bright future lies ahead for him, his team-mates, and the club itself.
“I think for everyone at the club, we’re not happy sitting on our laurels and just accepting that we’re going do this and that,” added Williams. “As a professional, you always feel you can kick on and get more out of yourselves. Here at Exeter, everything is laid out for us and the club give us a great foundation from which to build.
“I’ll admit, when I first came here I didn’t really have any so-called affiliation with the club or the city. Now, it’s pretty much home for me and I’m looking forward to what the future holds.”
Since being at the Chiefs, Williams has gone on to become one of several England internationals the club now boast, winning 18 Test caps under Head Coach Eddie Jones.
Many thought Williams would be part of Jones’ plans for last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, but he was omitted from the tournament’s final 31-man squad. This season, he has also been included in England’s training squad for the recent Six Nations Championship, but was not called upon to feature in any of the games.
England’s loss, however, has been Exeter’s gain as Williams has helped steer his club to the top of the Premiership and the last eight of the Heineken Champions Cup this season.
“I don’t tend to dwell too much on the negatives, I much prefer to look at the positives,” continued Williams. “If I’m playing well for Exeter, then other things hopefully follow. As I said earlier, I like to test myself because that’s often what brings the best out in you.”