22 May 2009 www.RUGBY TIMES.com
Chiefs must raise the bar - Baxter
by JON NEWCOMBE
into Championship and Premiership
quality players whilst staying at Exeter.
“At the same time we have to search
OB BAXTER, confirmed recently
as the new Exeter head coach
far and wide to find the right sort of
for next season, wants the
quality and experienced players to help
Chiefs to push back the boundaries
the squad and move it forward as a whole
to give us the depth of squad to put us in
and aim for excellence in The
the position to get promoted. If we do all
Championship in 2009/10.
that I’m confident we’ll be in a position to
Narrow home and away defeats to
get to the Premiership.”
eventual champions Leeds cost the Chiefs
Baxter admits that his promotion to
dear in their bid to get promotion to the
the head coach role vacated by Drewett
by JON NEWCOMBE
Premiership last season. It was a failure
hardly came in the most ideal of
that also cost former head coach Pete
circumstances but adds that it is now
Drewett his job.
time for the club to move on and grasp
Aware that second best is not good
the challenge that lies ahead.
enough for the Chiefs board of directors,
“It is not the way you want to move
OTTINGHAM have continued
their squad strengthening
for next season by
Baxter now wants to raise the bar further
into the head coach role or a leading role
capturing three of England’s
and make sure that the Devon club do not
in rugby but it has happened and in sport
brightest youngsters on one-year
gain a reputation for being the ‘nearly
things move on very quickly.
men’ of the division.
“The game just rolls on and that’s
Leicester No.8 Ben Pienaar
“The only lesson you can learn to get
kind of just what happens really. I’ve
(below), a loan player at Bedford last
promoted is that you have to aim to be
spoken to Pete and Paul (backs coach
season, has taken up the offer of a
more than just good enough, you have to
Paul Larkin) since it happened and we’re
full-time move to Nottingham.
aim to be a clear first and hope then that
still communicating and on a personal
you just scrape it, I think that’s how it
level everything is fine.
works,” he told Rugby Times.
“The decision I had to make was did
“You have got to be good enough and
I want to continue as an assistant coach or
put the right things in place to take
did I want to try and push myself
certain factors out of the equation, like
forward a little bit. I thought the time was
the weather conditions, the odd poor right for me and I’m very fortunate and
performance that you put in, a really pleased the club has decided to pin their
good performance by the opposition, and faith in me. I am very excited by it, I think
the odd poor refereeing decision. we have a good squad of players, we’ve
“We were good last season but we got great facilities and it is a great place to
weren’t good enough to turn one, two or come to work.
three point losses into wins, that’s what “I count myself very fortunate but at
we need to do to get promoted next the same time I have worked very hard to
season or in seasons to come.” put myself in this position. I am now
Steering his hometown club into the hoping that the hard work can pay off
Premiership would be a dream come true and I help move the club forward. June 11
for Baxter, a former captain of the Chiefs. (the start of pre-season) cannot come
“I’m a very ambitious person but I’m around quickly enough.”
Pienaar, 22, has played a part in
also very ambitious for this club,” he said. Baxter will head up a new coaching
the Tigers’ Heineken Cup campaign
“I see something special here and about team that will include Robin Cowling as
this season, impressing Nottingham
South West rugby which is as yet team manager, Rob Gibson as assistant
director of rugby Glenn Delaney.
untapped and it would be great if Exeter forwards coach, Ali Hepher as backs
He said: “We needed a number
could pull all that together and make that coach and Ricky Pellow as his assistant.
eight to replace Dan Montagu, and
final step. Furthermore, another full-time strength
Ben has been in really good form for
“But the important thing is that we & conditioning coach, Mark Twiggs, has
really get the club working on the right been added to the team.
“During his Heineken Cup
processes to make it into a Premiership Meanwhile, Exeter have moved to fill
appearances he proved that he is a
club. To get promotion without having some of the gaps left in their squad by
very capable player and coming to us
any structure in place to give you the some high profile departures by
will help to further his career.”
opportunity to stay in the Premiership recruiting former Newcastle Falcons and
Pienaar played a leading role in
and maximise your time there is a lethal Newport Gwent Dragons lock Sean
the Tigers Development XV successes
mistake. Tomes, who has previous experience of
in 2005/06 and also gained first-team
“We have to make sure we have the rugby at Championship level on loan at
experience at National One rivals
Bedford from 2006 to 2008.
right processes in place regarding how Doncaster last season.
Hooker Tom Youngs, on a dual
we work with the best young players in Newport Gwent Dragons utility back
the South West and their role in the Exeter Phil Dollman joins him at the Chiefs for
Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter and team
registration deal at the Green &
manager Robin Cowling (foreground) Whites from Leicester last season, has
Academy and how we can develop them the 2009/10 season.
also penned a one-year deal.
Delaney said: “Obviously with
by JON NEWCOMBE
JONES HEADS TO HULL
get a taste of life in the 13-man code. losing Joe Duffey we needed a
The idea came from fellow Sevens replacement hooker and Tom has
star Tom Biggs who considered a switch been with us this season.
ELEASED Worcester scrum-
“He has a huge amount of
half Ben Jones has used his
of codes before landing a deal with
potential and he will continue to learn
old Doncaster connections to
made just one first team start and four The live wire scrum-half has since
attracted interest from a couple of
Jones then got in touch with Hull
the craft of playing hooker with
land a trial at rugby league club
appearances off the bench after his
summer move from Doncaster. Premiership and a couple of
FC CEO and former Doncaster team
“I’m disappointed I wasn’t able to Championship clubs and hopes to have
mate Jimmy Rule about a trial.
Former Nottingham High School
Jones is currently without a club
take my National One form through to sorted out his long term future by the “I’ll still go to Hull even if I have
pupil Greig Tonks has also signed up
after being told he did not have a future
the Premiership, it was harder than I end of this month. signed with a union side before June,
for a year.
at the Warriors. thought it would be,” he told Rugby Either way, though, he will head to it’ll be a good opportunity for me and
The 19-year-old who has recently
The England Sevens international Times. the KC Stadium for the whole of June to it’s all been agreed,” added Jones.
been picked in the England Under-
20s squad spent much of the season
out of action thanks to a serious
by JON NEWCOMBE
MOSELEY IN DOUBLE CANADIAN SWOOP
injury sustained while on
OSELEY have targeted two
But Delaney is looking forward to
Canadian internationals as
He impressed Moseley’s coaching Fellow countryman and outside row and gained valuable first team
seeing the best of him in The
they look to finalise their
Championship next season.
team in the home and away league centre Keys, who is a direct replacement experience on loan at Newbury last
recruitment for next season.
“He’s one of the most talented
matches between the sides and will for Bristol-bound Jack Adams, has season.
The EDF Energy National Trophy
players I’ve come across and I’m sure
become the second signing out wide if completed his move to Billesley Common. With the exception of back row
finalists are thought to be 80% down the
he’ll continue to get better and
he finally puts pen to paper on a deal Keys, 24, has six full caps to his forward Richie Bignell, Moseley have
line in terms of the make-up of their
squad for next season, with Bryn Keys
following the capture of former name after making his debut against the managed to retain all the players they
Meanwhile, healthy season ticket
one of the more recent additions and
England Sevens winger Rob Thirlby USA in last summer’s Churchill Cup. wanted to keep. sales have been reported by the club
Justin Mensah-Coker set to follow suit.
from Redruth. Bristol openside Chevvy No.8 James Rodwell, named last following an appeal to the people of
Mensah-Coker made 24 league and
Ironically, Mensah-Coker’s last Pennycook is another confirmed week in the Rugby Times Dream XV,
Nottingham to get behind their rugby
cup appearances for Plymouth last
game for Albion was at Moseley on signing with only one or two new faces has decided to stay put, as has lock Aly
season, including 19 starts, and ended the April 29 when the Brickfields outfit still to be unveiled. Muldowney despite overtures for his
As of last week ticket sales were
term as joint-top try-scorer with six tries. suffered a 50-32 defeat. Pennycook can play across the back signature from Plymouth.
40% up on the same date last year.
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