Following a Gallagher Premiership-Heineken Cup double for the Exeter Chiefs, Jack Yeandle and Joe Simmonds reflected on their historic season, with a look ahead to their title defence, kicking off at Harlequins.
Robert Rees brings you the latest from Chiefs HQ.
Exeter looking forward to new season
“I’m looking forward to getting stuck into this year. It was nice after the final to just sit in the dressing room and celebrate in there for around 2 hours.”
Looking at the short turnaround from last season, the fly half believes it’ll be an advantage that Exeter have had less lay-off time than other sides. “We’ve probably got an advantage over other teams.”
Club captain Jack Yeandle also believes that his men will be up for the challenge. “We were playing such a short time ago that we won’t lose that much, it’s instilled in us.
“We showed what we can achieve with our whole squad last year, rotating for midweek games. Look at the teams we sent to Bristol away last year, it was a different 15 to the weekend side. Everyone knows their role.”
Chiefs camp happy for capped players
Despite not being called up, Simmonds isn’t feeling bitter and insists that the focus is on congratulating those players who made the cut. “It’s been great to see the likes of Jonny Hill get his first cap,” said the outside half.
Quins game must win
Winning early on in the season may seem something as a regulation, but when you defend your crown it adds pressure. Taking some of that off yourself comes down to winning games early, and getting points in the bag. Something that Simmonds believes Chiefs are aiming to do, “you don’t get to finals if you don’t win these games. We want those four points, it’ll be a great opportunity to stamp our authority.”
Yeandle adding, “If you get off to a good start there’s less pressure on you at the end.”
Yeandle aims to stop carrying threats
In order to overcome Harlequins, a team they lost to last season, Yeandle believes they must stop the carrying threat from the likes of Alex Dombrandt. “We have to nullify their carrying threat,” he explained, adding, “We’re fully aware of what it takes to win a game of rugby. It’s an emotional thing.”
He then confirmed that they’ll be having lots of analytical meetings throughout the week to ensure they’ll be on top form.
“We have a target on our back and we need to turn up and perform. You do that by getting things right in midweek,” he added.
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