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James Short and Sam Hill: Exeter Chiefs backs sign new deals to 2020


James Short and Sam Hill have signed new deals to stay with Premiership champions Exeter until 2020.Winger Short, 28, joined from London Irish in 2015, having previously won the 2011 Premiership with Saracens.He was a member of the Exeter side which beat Saracens in last year’s Premiership semi-final, but missed out on a place in the final against Wasps.

England Saxons centre Hill, 24, missed Exeter’s Premiership final appearances in 2016 and 2017 because of injury.Having hurt his hamstring in the build-up to the 2016 loss to Saracens, Hill was out of action for six months last year after injuring a ligament in is foot.He returned to action in November, making his first start for the Chiefs in their win over the same opponents.Seven other players have agreed new deals with the Chiefs since the end of the month, including skipper Jack Yeandle and fly-half Gareth Steenson.Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter says Hill has the potential to be in the reckoning for the national team:”He’s a guy who has been on the fringe of England stuff in the past and he’s someone who I genuinely believe could force his way back in there, purely because of his power to break the gain line when he plays. He’s also a very good ball handler, something that he doesn’t always get the credit for, and he’s a very good defender.”Moving forward, he’s definitely someone who can help create a strong spine to the team. “Personally, I still feel there is a lot more to come from Hilly. Obviously injuries have frustrated him at the end of last season and again at the start of this season, but with regular game time I fully expect him to get even stronger.”Meanwhile Baxter says Short’s attitude over the past three years at Sandy Park has impressed him.”Although he’s played a lot of rugby – and had some outstanding games for us – there have been times where he has lost out to both Jack Nowell and Olly Woodburn when they’ve been fit.”What I like about Shorty, though, is that determination to get better and better in what he does. When you have guys in your squad like that, as a coach it then makes the decision to re-sign them a very desirable one.”I know from speaking to him that he doesn’t just want to stay here and fulfil a contract, he wants to be here to improve himself, the club, and really drive his career forward.”
Source: Devon BBC