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Exeter Chiefs

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Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Chiefs
Full name Exeter Rugby Club
Founded 1871 (1871)
Location Exeter, Devon, England
Ground(s) Sandy Park (Capacity: 12,500)
Chairman Tony Rowe OBE
Coach(es) Rob Baxter
Captain(s) Dean Mumm
League(s) Aviva Premiership
2013–14 8th
Official website

Exeter Chiefs (officially Exeter Rugby Club) are an English rugby union club based in Exeter, Devon[1] that currently play in the Aviva Premiership, the top level of domestic rugby union in England. They also compete in the Anglo-Welsh Cup and European Rugby Cup competitions.


Exeter Rugby Club was founded in 1871. The club played its first match in 1873 against St. Luke's College. In 1890, they won the Devon Cup.[2] In 1905, Exeter Rugby Club hosted the first match played by the New Zealand national rugby union team on English soil and in the Northern Hemisphere at the County Ground between New Zealand and the Devon County XV.[3] It was from that game, that New Zealand became known as the "All Blacks".[4]

When league rugby started, Exeter were initially placed in the Devon leagues. In the 1990s, Exeter Rugby Club turned semi-professional and changed their name from Exeter Rugby Club to Exeter Chiefs[5] after previously being referred to as the Chiefs in the 1930s. Often their teams at the time were composed of members and former members of the RFU Championship with playoffs. During the regular league season, Exeter finished second behind Bristol. In the playoffs, they defeated Bedford Blues and Nottingham R.F.C. before facing Bristol in the two legged final.[8] Exeter won 9-6 in the first leg at Sandy Park and then won 29-10 at Bristol's Memorial Stadium in the second leg to win promotion to the Aviva Premiership for the very first time.[9]

In their first season in the Aviva Premiership, they finished eighth[5] despite a two point deduction and a £5,000 fine for fielding too many overseas players during their match against Leeds Carnegie at Headingley Stadium.[10] They also made their debut in the European Challenge Cup, making their way to the quarter finals where they lost to Stade Français.[11] In the next season, they finished fifth in the Aviva Premiership which permitted them to play in the Heineken Cup for the first time.[10] In their first season in the Heineken Cup, they were drawn against French Clermont Auvergne, Irish Leinster Rugby and Welsh Scarlets in the group stage. They finished the group third with nine points ahead of Scarlets.[12] Also in 2013, they, along with Saracens, were the only rugby club to hold a minutes silence before their game against London Irish to remember the death of former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher.[13] In 2014, Exeter Chiefs won their first major rugby trophy after they defeated Northampton Saints in the Anglo-Welsh Cup 15-8 at Sandy Park.[14]


Exeter play their home games at Sandy Park, which is located on the outskirts of the city. The club moved from their previous home, the County Ground, in 2006 having played there regularly since 1905.[15] In 2002, Exeter Chiefs started looking for a new stadium because they felt the County Ground was insufficient for growth. Despite concerns of opposition from traditionalists within the club, the motion to move was passed by 99% of the attendees at Exeter's Annual General Meeting.[2] Sandy Park can currently accommodate 10,744 spectators, however, there are plans to increase this capacity to 20,600 with phase one having begun in early 2014.[16] These plans came about because of a requirement for later stages of European matches to be played at grounds with a capacity of at least 20,000.[17]

Club honours

Current squad

2014-15 [20]

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.
Player Position Union
Greg Bateman Hooker England
Elvis Taione Hooker Tonga
Jack Yeandle Hooker England
Alex Brown Prop England
Luke Cowan-Dickie Prop England
Kieran Davies Prop England
Tomas Francis Prop England
Moray Low Prop Scotland
Ben Moon Prop England
Carl Rimmer Prop England
Brett Sturgess Prop England
Ryan Caldwell Lock Ireland
Will Carrick-Smith Lock England
Dean Mumm (c) Lock Australia
Damian Welch Lock England
Don Armand Flanker Zimbabwe
Joel Conlon Flanker England
Tom Johnson Flanker England
Mitch Lees Flanker Australia
James Scaysbrook Flanker England
Ben White Flanker Australia
Dave Ewers Number 8 England
Kai Horstmann Number 8 England
Thomas Waldrom Number 8 England

Will Chudley Scrum-half England
Dave Lewis Scrum-half England
Haydn Thomas Scrum-half England
Henry Slade Fly-half England
Gareth Steenson Fly-half Ireland
Ceri Sweeney Fly-half Wales
Sam Hill Centre England
Adam Hughes Centre Wales
Sireli Naqelevuki Centre Fiji
Ian Whitten Centre Ireland
Byron McGuigan Centre Scotland
Jack Arnott Wing England
Tom James Wing Wales
Matt Jess Wing England
Fetu'u Vainikolo Wing


  1. ^ "Contact". Exeter Chiefs F.C. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "130 Years of Rugby History". Proteus Media. Retrieved 2014-05-06. 
  3. ^ Tobin, Christopher (2005). The Original All Blacks 1905–06. Auckland, New Zealand: Hodder Moa Beckett. p. 31.  
  4. ^ Frank Keating. "How the original All Blacks went down in the annals of history". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-05-06. 
  5. ^ a b Freshers’ guide to: Exeter Chiefs. "Freshers’ guide to: Exeter Chiefs". University of Exeter. Retrieved 2014-05-06. 
  6. ^ Barrie Fairall (1993-02-26). "Eager Exeter take up arms: Two of rugby union's once-feared clubs are making their presence felt again: Barrie Fairall reports on the West Country team who are marching ahead under the command of a Regimental Sergeant Major". The Independent. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  7. ^ "Exeter Chiefs". 2014-04-29. Retrieved 2014-05-06. 
  8. ^ Gibbins, Dave (2010-05-25). "Exeter Chiefs closing in on Premiership dream". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2014-05-06. 
  9. ^ Tuckett, Phil (2010-05-26). "Bristol 10-29 Exeter (Exeter win 38-16 on aggregate)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2014-05-06. 
  10. ^ a b 16:32 (2011-04-27). "Exeter Chiefs deducted two points and fined £5,000". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2014-05-06. 
  11. ^ "Exeter's hopes of European silverware are dashed". ITV. Retrieved 2014-05-06. 
  12. ^ "Heineken Cup 2012/13 - Points table". ESPN. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  13. ^ "'"Exeter Chiefs' Thatcher silence 'wrong decision. BBC News. 2013-04-12. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  14. ^ Osborne, Chris (2014-03-16). "LV= Cup final: Exeter Chiefs 15-8 Northampton Saints". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  15. ^ History - Exeter Chiefs
  16. ^ Phase one works to begin at Sandy Park
  17. ^ Pilnick, Brent (2012-10-30). "Exeter Chiefs granted permission for Sandy Park expansion". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Players & Staff". Exeter Chiefs. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 

Further reading

  • Clark, Neil (2012). It Was Never My Ambition To Become A Hooker. Chequered Flag Publishing.  

External links

  • Exeter Chiefs official site
  • The Tribe – Fans Forum and much more
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