England centre Henry Slade has agreed a new contract with Gallagher Premiership club Exeter.

The Chiefs announced Slade’s deal ahead of their final game of the regular Premiership season against Leicester on Saturday.

The 31-year-old has been in blistering form this season, driving Exeter’s play-off push. He is also the Premiership’s top points-scorer.

Slade made his Chiefs debut 12 years ago, featuring 230 times in Exeter colours, while he has also won 62 England caps.

“There were a lot of factors behind my decision to stay at Exeter Chiefs,” he said.

“I joined the academy at 18, so the club is all I have ever really known as a professional rugby player. I feel very lucky to be able to say I have represented the club over 200 times.

“I call Exeter my home. I’ve started a young family here – my eldest daughter starts school in September – so it just felt right to stay.

Rob Baxter
Rob Baxter, pictured, has hailed Henry Slade’s contribution to Exeter Chiefs (Richard Sellers/PA)

“The club has been my whole adult life, so I just didn’t feel like it was time to go.

“There is an extremely strong group coming through now, and I am relishing being one of the senior boys in among a group with so much potential to do some great things.

“Wanting to see what I could achieve with a new group did serve as a bit of a refreshener, as it posed a new challenge.

“I have been here for 12 years with a lot of the same faces, and it felt like a very different club this year. Coming into pre-season, it was an exciting challenge.”

Slade was a shock omission from England’s World Cup squad last year, but he responded in outstanding fashion and regained a midfield place for this season’s Guinness Six Nations.

Exeter rugby director Rob Baxter said: “We obviously feel that we have got a team that is really going to grow over the coming seasons, but the truth is Henry is probably the key-stone to the process.

“For us, he has been an important player for years. He has been fantastic this season in working very hard himself and setting such high standards for himself.

“He has been a great leader for us and guided a strong, youthful team to do well in both Europe and the Premiership.

“The way he has trained and played, I can still see him being a real force both internationally and at club level for quite some time yet.”