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Yeandle agrees new Chiefs deal

Hooker Jack Yeandle admitted it was an "easy decision" to pen a new contract extension with the Exeter Chiefs.

Signed in 2012 from Championship side Doncaster Knights, the 25-year-old forward has quickly settled to Aviva Premiership and European rugby life with his hometown club – and his influence, both on and off the field, was recently rewarded by head coach Rob Baxter, who entrusted him with the role of club captain for the new season.

A key figure in the recent rise of the Devon club, Yeandle has already amassed 50 appearances in English rugby’s top flight, as well as featuring in both the Heineken and European Challenge Cups.

And with an impending marriage and baby on the way, the all-action forward admits it’s great to have a new two-year deal – bolted onto the remaining year he had – signed and sealed ahead of the new 2015/16 campaign.

Yeandle said: "It has all come together quite nicely for me. The new deal was a very easy decision – this is home for me, it means a lot to play here and it is a great club to be at.

"It is always niggling away in the back of your head when your contract is up. You do worry about it and it can possibly affect your performance.

"To have it secured now and out of the way is another thing I don’t have to worry about, especially with a kid on the way and getting married soon, so it is another factor I don’t have to take into account."

And with the Chiefs set to get their new season underway this Saturday at rivals Bath, Yeandle is confident the club can kick on once more having got so close last season to being in the play-offs.

"We did it against the big teams where we really upped our performances, it was the teams in the lower half of the table where we let our concentration slip and ultimately that is what cost us fourth," said Yeandle.

"I think it was only by 20-odd points that we missed out on fourth, so if you look back on games throughout the season where we conceded a silly penalty or a soft try then you can easily make up the points we gave away.

"We even let whole games slip away where we missed out on four or five points which would have pushed us up the table.

"Top four is the goal. We are always aiming to be a top-six club and last season we showed how close we are to being a top-four one."

As well as a stab at the league semi-finals, the club also have a European Champions Cup campaign to look forward to in the forthcoming season.

It represents a welcome return to Europe’s premier club competition for the side, having participated in the second tier last season.

"Europe is a brilliant opportunity and one that we worked very hard for last season," Yeandle said. "We feel we earned it, so now we are there we want to push on and really take a stab at it.

"You have an opportunity to prove yourself against the best sides in Europe so we really want to have a go at it."

One man delighted to see Yeandle prolong his stay at Sandy Park is Baxter himself, who added: "It was a pretty simple call from us to extend his contract and a pretty fast and easy decision for Jack as well.

"It was one of those nice extensions where both parties are happy with the scenario. He is a level-headed guy who works hard here and he is one of those players that knows that if you work hard, are a good character, you know what the club is about and you help those around you then good things can happen."
 

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