Exeter re-sign Steenson and Sturgess
January 7, 2011
Gareth Steenson missed three months of the season through injury but is set to return against Gloucester on Saturday © Getty Images
Exeter Chiefs have been handed a double boost after Gareth Steenson and Brett Sturgess signed new deals that will keep them at Sandy Park for a further two years.
Fly-half Steenson and prop Sturgess have joined Haydn Thomas and Tom Johnson in committing their futures to the Chiefs. Both players were central to Exeter's promotion from the Championship last season and have performed well in the Aviva Premiership during the current campaign.
Steenson, who has drawn interest from the England selectors this season despite having been born in Ireland, joined the club from the Cornish Pirates in 2008 and is now the second highest point scorer in the club's history. Sturgess, a former Northampton and Connacht forward, has been an ever-present in the side this season.
"Obviously I'm absolutely delighted to have sorted myself out for the foreseeable future at a club I know is not only ambitious, but is also looking to improve all the time," Steenson said. "Thankfully we've managed to sort out the contract quickly and now I can just focus on my rugby for the rest of the season.
"I've always said I love it here at Exeter, so to have another two years secured is absolutely great. Obviously it's been a good start for us in the Premiership, but we now have to finish it off with a big second half to the season."
Sturgess added: ""If I'm honest there was too much of a decision to make when the club offered me the deal, but I just wanted to sort out certain bits and bobs. Once we agreed those things, it was all fairly simple and now I just want to focus on playing and helping to take the club forward."
Exeter head coach Rob Baxter is close to securing a number of other players on new contracts and was delighted that Steenson and Sturgess had committed to the club.
Baxter said: "I think these signings, plus all the others that we are currently in negotiations with, show that as a club we are all about moving forward. We haven't had to wait too long for decisions from the guys we have been in conversations with. A lot of them are keen to commit their futures to us, so that is excellent news.
"Obviously both Brett and Steeno played big parts in our promotion last season and it's great to keep them on board for the next two years. I still think they are two players who have still got potential to improve and move on from where they are - which is obviously very important to us - and they are also very good members of the squad."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"Wayne Barnes' decision to give Dylan Hartley his marching orders was brave but crucially it was the correct call." Graham Jenkins reports from the Premiership final
"We wanted to get the rugby spirit across to people, I firmly believe we have been in the thick of it." Tom Hamilton speaks to the ESPN crew on the final live broadcast
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
"The fans could not be happier with the opposition and it adds an exciting element to a game that is shaping up as a thriller." Ben Kay previews the Premiership final showdown