TOP BAR - Fixtures

Chiefs coaches agree new contracts

Rob Baxter has spoken of his delight after this week confirming he and his Exeter Chiefs coaching team have all signed new contracts tying them to the club until 2018.

With their current deals due to expire at the end of the current campaign, the Chiefs board have wasted little time in ensuring they have the futures of Baxter and his team of trusty lieutenants in place for the foreseeable future.

Baxter – who took over the running of the Chiefs in 2009 following the departure of former Director of Rugby, Pete Drewett – has been the lead figure in Exeter's recent rise out of the Championship and into the Aviva Premiership and Europe.

Not only has he guided the club to two top six finishes in English rugby's top tier, but he has steered the Devon outfit into the Heineken Cup on two different occasions; won the LV= Cup last term; and has even been part of an England coaching team who toured South America in 2013.

It has – even by his own stretch of imagination – been quite a journey in such a short space of time. However, Baxter has loved every minute of it and the fact he has done it alongside fellow coaches Ali Hepher, Rob Hunter, Ricky Pellow and Mark Twiggs has added to the whole experience.

Now, the 43-year-old is looking to extend that adventure even further having agreed a new three-year deal that will kick in at the end of the current season.

He said: "We talk a lot when we talk about recruiting players and retaining players that we don't like a big turnover of players and we like to give a group time to mature together and develop together and in a lot of ways it's very similar with coaches.

"We'd all like to think we're better coaches this year than last year and we were better last year than the year before. That helps us. We're a relatively young coaching group, we're not guys lose to retirement by any means, and we're happy to keep learning and keep developing. That works well for us as a club.

"From my perspective, I'm delighted to be signing a new deal but I'm even happier it's the same group of coaches who are signing to stay here because ultimately they're the guys who probably don't get as much credit as they deserve for the success the team has because I'm the guy in the spotlight. They all work incredibly hard.”

With the Chiefs currently sitting second in the Premiership and top of both their LV= and European Challenge Cup pools, the work being carried out in the Sandy Park coaching den is clearly paying dividends.

Baxter added: "It doesn't take a genius to see how well our forwards are performing this season and were improving last season and that's down to a lot of the work Rob does.

"I think our attack has developed right from the start when Ali joined us in the Championship and has developed every year since. We haven't looked like a team that wasn't prepared to attack or afraid to lose games and that's probably the single most important factor in our success in the Premiership – we've never been afraid to go out and try to win the game, and that's it great for the players and given us the opportunity to win important games at our start in the Premiership. I can't speak highly enough of the work those guys do.

"Ricky and Twiggsy are probably the unsung heroes in it all. They do a lot of the back room stuff. Ricky does skill development with pretty much every player at the club, he also does a lot of work with our academy but not just our senior academy here but right through to 12, 13, 14 year olds across Devon and Cornwall – he's here, there and everywhere, the distance he covers is incredible and the amount of time he spends coaching.

"For a long time now we've backed Twiggsy and he spends a lot of time with the players because we want them to be big and fit and strong because it's very important to us. If you look at the way we play, the metres the boys get through and our ball-in-play time in the Premiership, which is well above any other team, you can see we're a well-conditioned outfit. He brings the best out of a lot of players.

"It's a group that has got a nice balance and a group that I enjoy working with. I think we get on well. We have our odd bicker – Rob Hunter doesn't like to sit between Ali and I on a match-day because he doesn't like to interrupt the bickering that goes on between us – but I think that's a good thing.

"Everyone's prepared to speak their minds and everyone gets a say in what we do and hopefully everybody feels they're an important part of the success of the rugby club.”

Latest News

Newcastle Falcons are ready for star-studded challenge in Singha 7s

Newcastle Falcons are not worried about facing a star-studded Wasps squad in the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s on Friday, and…

Adam Radwan

Exeter Chiefs set their sights on this weekend’s Singha 7s

Exeter Chiefs will be looking to use the buzz of last season’s success as inspiration in their bid win the…

Exeter Chiefs set their sights on this weekend’s Singha 7s

Ben Vellacott gunning for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s glory with Gloucester Rugby

Ben Vellacott is certain Gloucester Rugby’s exciting line-up for the 2017 Singha Premiership Rugby 7s can go all the way…

Ben Vellacott

Ones to watch: Singha Premiership Rugby 7s 2017

England internationals, Premiership Rugby record holders, Olympic medallists and the hottest rugby talent in the country – put all that…

Singha Premiership Rugby 7s live on BT Sport with highlights on Channel 5

Channel 5’s landmark coverage of domestic rugby begins in earnest this week, with the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s finally returning…

Saracens name squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Tom Whiteley will skipper a youthful Saracens side in this weekend’s Singha 7s tournament at Franklin’s Gardens, after the Men…

Tom Whiteley

Will Homer to captain Bath Rugby at the Singha 7s

Will Homer will captain Bath Rugby at the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s this weekend at Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton. The scrum-half,…

Will Homer

Saints squad announced for Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens Series 

The Northampton Saints squad has been announced for this weekend’s Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens Series, which is being played in…

Jamie Elliott

Harlequins announce squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

Henry Cheeseman will captain the 12-man squad against Gloucester Rugby and London Irish in Pool B of the Singha 7s.…

Henry Cheeseman

Wasps name squad for 2017 Premiership Rugby Singha 7s

Wasps have today named their squad for the 2017 Premiership Rugby Singha 7s, which will be hosted at Franklin’s Gardens…

Dan Robson

London Irish name squad for Singha Premiership Rugby 7s

London Irish have named their side for the 2017 Singha Premiership Rugby 7s, which will be held at Northampton Saints’…

Rory BRand

Harlequins set for pre-season training camp at adidas’ German HQ

Following the conclusion of the Premiership Rugby Singha 7s series this weekend, Harlequins travel to Herzogenaurach to continue their pre-season…

Harlequins set for pre-season training camp at adidas’ German HQ

Chiefs sign van der Sluys

Exeter Chiefs have bolstered their squad ahead of the new 2017/18 season with the acquisition of powerful South African lock…

Wilhelm van der Sluys

James Lang extends his time with Harlequins

Harlequins is proud to confirm today (Wednesday 27th July) that Harlequins Academy member James Lang has extended his time with…

James Lang extends his time with Harlequins

Sharks Announce Exciting Squad For Singha 7s

Sale Sharks can announce an exciting squad to take part in the Premiership Rugby Singha 7's this weekend at Franklin's…

Paolo Odogwu

Leicester Tigers Singha Premiership Rugby 7s team announcement

Leicester Tigers have named their squad for the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s. Tigers take on Newcastle Falcons and Wasps on…

Alex Glashan

Will Kaye set for birthday to remember with Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers’ new link-up with Loughborough University will provide youngster Will Kaye with an unforgettable birthday present. The Loughborough student…

Cameron Cowell captains Newcastle Falcons in Singha 7s

England 7s international Cameron Cowell will captain Newcastle Falcons in this week's Singha Premiership Rugby 7s at Northampton's Franklin's Gardens.…

Cameron Cowell

Stelling to lead Warriors at Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens

Max Stelling will lead Warriors in the new-look Singha Premiership Sevens this weekend at Northampton Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens. Stelling, who…

Max Stelling