Flanker Tom Johnson agrees new three-year deal with Aviva Premiership side Exeter
Last Updated: 02/01/14 11:44am
Tom Johnson: Has agreed a new deal with Exeter
England flanker Tom Johnson has agreed a new three-year contract with Aviva Premiership club Exeter.
And the Chiefs have also announced fresh two-year terms for Johnson's fellow forward Damian Welch.
Johnson, 31, made his Test debut against South Africa in 2012, five years after joining Exeter from Coventry, and has won five caps.
"Getting the deal done now means I have three and a half seasons of rugby left, which is great," Johnson said.
"That is a long time in a player's career, so now it means I can just knuckle down with the hard work and help continue the curve that the Chiefs are on.
"As a player, it's all in your own hands. You have the time and the opportunity to improve yourself as a player and if you put it in, then the sky
is the limit.
"For me, a big goal is obviously the World Cup next year, which I would like to be involved in. However, the main thing is to play regularly for the Chiefs,
and I've always said if you are doing that then you always give yourself a shout for international honours."
Welch has established himself as a first-team regular since signing from Scarlets in 2011, and he revealed that his decision to sign a new two-year contract was a "no-brainer".
"I've loved being here since I got here," he said. "It's a great atmosphere, a great group of lads and great coaches. It was a pretty easy decision to make when you're told they want to keep you on - it's a no brainer.
"It's definitely somewhere I've enjoyed being and hopefully somewhere I can enjoy being for another couple of years at least.
"It's good to get it done early, especially when it's something you want to happen. "It's been a good thing to get off my mind, in that I know where I'm going to be for the next two years.
"It's been a good couple of years, with the back end of last year and the start of this year so far. I'm pretty happy with where I'm at and it's a good place to be to try to push yourself on."