Exclusive Henry Slade: “ I’m not going to have a Covid vaccine
“Either way, we test three, four times a week, so you know if you’ve got something,” he says. “There’s no way of knowing what that could do. I have had vaccines in the past and have had a pretty bad time with them afterwards. I don’t know if it has anything to do with diabetes or not. I will stay away from this one.
Did Slade’s reliance on his body and physical health influence his decision? “It’s not really because of that, it’s because of my body and my life, I guess, I just think there haven’t been enough tests to judge it for sure,” replies -he.
The 28-year-old, who played a pivotal role in Exeter’s historic double-win season last year, remains candid throughout our conversation. He describes the achievement as ‘bittersweet’ considering how the muted celebrations were due to the Covid restrictions. And again, he’s not shy about giving his opinion on the government’s advice regarding the contested closed-door final at Ashton Gate last October.
“As players over the last year, we’ve gotten used to playing without fans and generating our own energy, but that energy that you put out of fans is something that you can’t really replicate. You try to do it, but it’s just not the same. To have them absent from Bristol for the European final was really disappointing, ”he said. “Even if it was close friends and family who could have left because it is a large stadium with almost 30,000 seats. Surely there would have been plenty of room to have a few, but it wasn’t meant to be. But that only spurs us on to the future, going back to the return of people. Hopefully sooner or later there will be full crowds with no social distancing, no masks and all that. Hope we can do it again and the fans experience it with us.
The center was delighted that his family could come and see him in person for the first time, with the fans back in the win against the London Irish – “it was moving to see them and cuddle them because we are allowed to. do now ”- with the growing Slade clan of one over the past few months after her partner, Megan, gave birth to her baby Olive last August.
“It changed me a lot,” he says of fatherhood. “My vision and my mentality are very different. I think as a sportsman I naturally think you end up being quite selfish trying to always prepare your body the right way, eat the right things, sleep at the right time. Having a kid puts it all up in the air but in a good way, I love Olive in Pieces. Before, all I thought about was how things were going to affect my preparation. My first thought now is about Olive rather than me, it’s a change of mind. “
And he needed their support recently. On the delicate subject of Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions’ omission, Slade makes no secret of his disappointment, referring to Kyle Sinckler’s emotional interview with BT Sport as summing up his own feelings.
“To be honest, I think I was the most drained of all my talk,” he says. “Megan said I just looked white all day after that. I was absolutely devastated. I was watching it and obviously we have no idea what’s going to happen. I was shaking all the time watching the buildup.
“As we read the spine and saw who was leaving, I thought it was more and more unlikely to go. Not having read my name, I was absolutely empty. The interview with Kyle Sinckler the other day probably summed up what everyone who was left out is feeling: angry, frustrated, disappointed, upset, all of those emotions.
“Having said that, I’m very happy for the other guys and I’m happy for the Chiefs boys who have been selected. I wish all the boys on the tour the best as it will be an unreal experience in every way. But I keep telling myself that all I can do now is play as well as I can because there is a long time left before testing and there are a lot of games to play. All I can do is play the best I can between now and the tests to raise my hand. Obviously I don’t wish anyone any harm, but if something does happen I hope I get called out, but you never know?
Unless he is called up to replace an injury, Slade will likely play for England against the United States and Canada this summer, with the understudy being that he can solidify his role as one of the main members. from the training of Eddie Jones.
“Actually, I’ve been happy with my form this year, maybe thinking about the last two years; in England I started to become more vocal because I have always been a great voice in the Chiefs, ”he says. “I think I found my voice with England. I feel like I have a little more influence when I say things. Because I have a lot more caps, I feel more comfortable.
“I know it hasn’t been where we would like it to be in terms of results for England, but we have been working on our game and moving my game forward. For some people living in England it may seem like a long way off. , but this is not the case.
But before unfinished international affairs, there is the question of Exeter retaining the Premiership. “Obviously we’re second in the table, one behind where we want to be, but at the end of the day we want to get a home semi-final because it’s a great thing to reach and come back to the final and to make. work.”
But with characteristic honesty, he explains that with increasing pressure at this point in the season, baby Olive will provide a lot of distraction. “I come home from training and whether it went well or not, I don’t get carried away with things because I have to change a diaper.”