Exeter Chiefs have been on of the recent success stories of English rugby, however next season is shaping up to be their best yet. After gaining promotion from the Championship they have gone from strength to strength whilst still sticking true to their roots. They now look like they are shaping up to seriously challenge for honours over he next few years. Here are seven reasons why…
1.They have a record of signing international quality players who perform
In past seasons the likes of Dean Mumm and Thomas Waldrom have proved astute signings who have gone on to have a huge impact for the Chiefs. Next season they’re set to welcome the likes of Geoff Parling and Michele Campagnaro into the side, both of whom look like they will add even more value to an already impressive side.
2.There’s a core group of experienced players who have been together for several years
Even some of Exeter’s youngest players have been involved in the senior side for several years now. This combined with their excellent retention rate of star players means that they have an established playing group who have had plenty of time together. The consistency in playing staff is sure to help them as they continue to build towards a top four finish.
3.The continued development and promotion of youth
The likes of Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Sam Hill and Luke Cowan-Dickie are rapidly becoming household names in English rugby as Exeter’s conveyor-belt of talent continues to produce. It looks like next season we could see even more talent emerge from the Exeter academy as they continue to excel in developing young players and turning them into first team regulars.
4.Sandy Park is currently undergoing an expansion ahead of next season
Exeter’s Chiefs home of Sandy Park is currently undergoing an expansion to increase the capacity ahead of the 2015 World Cup. This added space will allow them to attract larger crowds which are already growing thanks in large part to their recent success. Extra bums on seats means more money to be re-invested back into the playing side.
5.Rob Baxter and his coaching staff are currently some of the best around
Many fans are already suggesting Rob Baxter could be next in line for the England job whenever it becomes vacant. He has already spent some time in the England camp and has done a wonderful job of getting Exeter to where they are now. By having had a consistent back room team, Exeter have been able to build a stable side that are really performing well as a group.
6.Exeter is set to be a base for the upcoming Rugby World Cup
The announcement of Sandy Park as a venue for the Rugby World Cup will be a huge boost the club as it’s sure to help boost interest in rugby as a whole in the area. The knock-on effect of the World Cup is likely to see increases in attendance at Sandy Park next season driving extra revenue and providing an incredible atmosphere for the players.
7.The club remain one of the few profitable sides in the Aviva Premiership
Unlike the vast majority of clubs in the Aviva Premiership, Exeter aren’t reliant on wealthy backers in order to keep them afloat. Whilst this may have slowed their growth compared to some other sides it does mean they now have a stable platform which is sure to benefit them in the long run as there are no concerns over funding.
How do you think Exeter will get on next season?