Baxter rules himself out of England job
NEWS: Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter will not be throwing his hat into the ring for the England head coach job after signing a new contract extension at the Premiership club.
Director of Rugby, Rob Baxter, together with head coach Ali Hepher, forwards coach Rob Hunter and skills coach Ricky Pellow have all put pen to paper, ensuring they will be driving the club forward in the future.
Baxter, Hepher and Pellow have all been part of the club’s coaching staff since the 2009/10 season, while Hunter has been in his role since joining from the England Under-20s set-up in 2013.
Together the quartet have overseen some of the club’s greatest triumphs, including a Heineken Champions Cup win, two Premiership Rugby titles, as well as two domestic cup successes. They have also unearthed a wealth of talent, many of whom have featured prominently both for the Chiefs and on the international stage.
Commenting on the news, Rowe said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to secure the futures of four of our core coaches here at the club. As a collective they have been instrumental in the rise of the club in recent seasons, helping bring a genuine level of on-field success.
“Having spoken with all of them, I know they share the same vision as myself of driving the club onto even greater things in the coming years. As a group, they have a real connection with one another and I know that they believe they can continue to build on what they have created.”
Baxter has been with the club since a young boy, starting out initially as a ball boy at the old County Ground to playing for the Colts, then captaining the first team.
With over 300 appearances for the club, it has been his vision as a coach that has further enhanced his stellar status.
He said: “Obviously, I’m very pleased to have signed a long-term contract extension, but I’m particularly delighted that three of the senior staff have agreed similar deals. Not only is it good news for us personally, but it’s great that the club are backing us to keep producing not only good rugby, but good players and, hopefully, success for the club.
“Over the years we have achieved a lot together, but I think I speak for all of us when I say we are all hungry to achieve more. Believe it or not, we take it pretty personally when the team don’t perform like we should and that’s the motivating factor for all of us.
“I’ve obviously got a close affiliation to the club, my family have got a close affiliation to the club, it works for me family-wise. It really bothers me and hurts me when we don’t play to our potential, and we haven’t done that now for 18 months. I’m very determined and very driven to get us back to playing a lot closer to our potential than we are at the moment.”