The golden era of the Exeter Chiefs came to a crushing end on Sunday against La Rochelle, but with every end comes a new beginning as the Exeter Chiefs’ future looks bright.
‘Last Dance’ has been done, but Exeter Chiefs’ future is looking good
The young guns
From @Falmouth_Eagles to the @ChampionsCup 🤝
Congratulations to Scrum-Half Will Becconsall on his first start in the Competition!#JointheJourney pic.twitter.com/vXG1go2kJd
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) April 5, 2023
The famed Chiefs Academy has been producing quality local talent for years now, and this current crop is no exception. We’ve already seen Will Becconsall, Tom Cairns, and Tom Wyatt become regulars in recent weeks, however, there are more already waiting to come into the squad. Richard Capstick and James Kenny Rus Tuima are also amongst the local talent who have worked up the ranks. The club also has a strong connection with BUCS Super League Champions Exeter University.
READ MORE: The feel good factor is returning to Exeter Chiefs’ Sandy Park
This partnership has helped nurture talented youngsters like Christ Tshiunza and Dafydd Jenkins, who have both had breakthrough seasons this year and forced their way in at Sandy Park and are firmly in Warren Gatland’s plans for this Autumn’s World Cup.
Whilst there has been much made of the departures from Sandy Park this year, there are now plenty of new arrivals coming in.
During the season, the Chiefs moved swiftly to secure the services of Dan Frost, Immanuel Feyi-Waboso and Greg Fisilau after Wasps went into administration. These three have come in and added plenty to the squad. Frost became a stalwart in the front row after Luke Cowan-Dickie’s injury, and Fisilau and Feyi-Waboso have also made an impact and will be hoping for more opportunities next season.
Mid-season, they also added powerful forwards Nika Abuladze and Ehren Painter. Whilst Painter is yet to feature for the club, Georgian loosehead Abuladze has shown what he will add to the Chiefs pack and will be hoping to carry this on next year too. They’ve also added Joe Hawkins for next season. The Welsh International was seen by many as the future of the Welsh team and proved his quality this Six Nations as he featured in four of Wales’ five fixtures. The centre is a massive signing for the Chiefs and will add real quality alongside Henry Slade in the midfield.
The Chiefs have also added powerful back-row forward Ethan Roots and fly-half Will Haydon-Wood to the squad for next season. All of these new players will fill the holes left by the departing players and could help to build a new dynasty in Devon.
Building off success
WE'VE DONE IT!!@exeterchiefs are Premiership Rugby Cup champions for 2023#LIRvEXE pic.twitter.com/A7uqgrYi24
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) March 19, 2023
Whilst there was no European glory for the Chiefs, they have won silverware this season as they were crowned Premiership Cup champions. This cup run featured plenty of the players mentioned above, and this will form the new core group at Sandy Park next season. Success also breeds future success, and this group has already won a trophy. A solid core group of young players who have already won titles for the club could bode well for the Chiefs for years to come.
The curtain may have gone down on the first Devon dynasty, however, the mix of young talent who have already been successful at the senior level, as well as quality new arrivals could make the second just as good.
Photo Credit: Exeter Chiefs Official Facebook Page on September 23, 2019.