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Exeter Chiefs duo extend contracts

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: February 19, 2014

Rob Baxter with Haydn Thomas (left) and Kai Horstmann (right) - Picture: Pinnacle

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Exeter Chiefs players Haydn Thomas and Kai Horstmann have both signed extensions to their Exeter Chiefs contracts.

No. 8 Horstmann has penned a new one-year deal while Thomas, who is in his third spell with the club, has agreed a contract for one season with the option of another year after that.

That leaves only three senior players – Jason Shoemark, Ceri Sweeney and James Phillips – whose deals are due to expire this summer and who have not announced they have signed for another club.

Scrum-half Thomas initially joined Exeter from Bath in 2003, left for Gloucester after two seasons, returned for one match on loan from Bristol in 2007 before signing again in 2009. He has made 177 appearances in all, scoring 44 tries.

The University of Exeter graduate said: “I’m delighted to have re-signed. I’ve been at the club a long time and I really enjoy it here and want to be part of the club going forward.

“I feel very settled here, I enjoy the day-to-day life of the Chiefs and the way we play. It’s a good place to be, it’s enjoyable, and we want to push on and hopefully achieve more as a club.

“Obviously the club have a plan for on the pitch, but off the field everyone has seen what we have planned for the stadium in terms of its redevelopment. Right now we’ve got very good facilities here, but that’s going to get even better with a new pitch, bigger gym, bigger changing rooms and a team room, it’s a nice place to be and I want to be a part of it.

“Players see the Chiefs as a good club and an attractive option, you only need to look at the players we have brought in over the last few years.”

Horstmann signed for Exeter from Worcester in 2012 but made just five appearances last term due to a couple of injuries.

However, this season he has been regular in the matchday squad, featuring 18 times.

The Zimbabwean said: “I’m really excited. I am enjoying it here, enjoying the rugby and certainly very pleased with it.

“The first year certainly was hugely frustrating, but I am getting there. Obviously every player wants to be playing every week, that’s my target to keep pushing hard and hopefully get more game time.

“I think it’s important when you have a really good culture within the squad that you retain players. Obviously the club has to keep evolving and moving forward, but I think it’s well known that Exeter have a great club culture.

“Exeter’s culture is different, like most things it starts from the top and this club is driven by a huge amount of heart and passion, guys that believe in the club and have been here for a long time and that filters down. Within the playing side of things, you have got good guys, you have characters and leaders and people who want to do well, and that creates a good culture.”

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