NEW DEAL | Exeter Chiefs star signs new deal

Rob Baxter’s forward-thinking has continued today with news that another of his first-team squad at Exeter Chiefs has pledged his long-term future to the club.

Back-five forward Sean Lonsdale joins a growing list of current Sandy Park stars to put pen to paper on new terms with the current Gallagher Premiership leaders.

Signed in 2016 from Welsh outfit, RGC 1404, the 22-year-old enjoyed loan spells with Taunton and Plymouth Albion before making his Chiefs debut in an Anglo-Welsh Cup tie away to Worcester Warriors in January 2018. Since then, Lonsdale has made 31 appearances for the Devon club, scoring three tries in the process.

News that the talented young forward is hanging about is another huge positive for Baxter, the Chiefs’ Director of Rugby, who has now got the majority of this season’s squad all on board for the 2020/21 campaign.

“Sean is one of those stories you really like, rugby-wise,” said Baxter. “He kind of came as an academy player, although he didn’t actually come through our academy. He took a chance by leaving Wales and investing in that change of rugby environment.

“He came to us and bought into what we wanted to do, almost as an academy player. He’s done his time, so to speak, and has comes through a revered time and played in some big games for us.

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“He’s still young, getting involved in games now, and he’s got that ability to play right across the back five, which has made him a really valuable member of the 23 on numerous occasions. It’s one of those things you like to talk about as a success story, in a way, as a young player who has come here and worked hard and is reaping the rewards almost week by week.

“He’s never let us down and he’s improving all the time. As well as all the important games he’s played in, myself and Rob Hunter [forwards coach] can still see that good element of development in him.”


LIST | Five senior Exeter Chiefs players set for exit in big overhaul

Exeter Chiefs are set for a significant overhaul of their playing squad that will end in at least five senior players leaving…

The Chiefs have already confirmed that Nic White (Brumbies), Sam Hill (Sale Sharks) and Enrique Pieretto (Glasgow Warriors) will depart this summer.

Here are five other players who will currently be free agents in the summer…

1. Gareth Steenson

The 35-year-old is set to be out of contract in the summer after last signing a two year extension in 2018. Steenson has been at the forefront of Exeter’s rise out of the Championship and their subsequent rise to Premiership champions. Having settled in the city, it seems he will either sign or extension or hang up his boots.

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