Saturday, 21 December 2013

Why (Dean) Mumm's the word for Exeter Chiefs

With a minimum of fuss but with a barrel-load of guts, Exeter Chiefs continue to develop as a potent Premiership force. This past week sums that up.

The Chiefs have announced that their Wallaby skipper, Dean Mumm, has signed a contract extension, while the club also picked up a hatful of awards at the BBC South West Sport Awards.

Hat trick of awards. Picture: Exeter Chiefs/Pinnacle Photo Agency

Exeter might not have recruited sweepingly since they were promoted from the Championship four seasons ago, but they have recruited shrewdly. There have been incremental additions that have added to a rock-solid core of long-serving players. The acquisition of lock forward Mumm ahead of the 2012-13 season encapsulated the Chiefs' shrewdness on the recruitment front.

That the Australian has been persuaded to extend his stay speaks volumes too about the direction the club is heading in.

Hard-grafting, spirited and with a thirst to get the ball in hand, Mumm sums up Exeter's philosophy.

On top of that, Chiefs winger Jack Nowell has been named BBC South West Sportsman of the Year, and Exeter named Team of the Year. To complete the hat-trick, head coach Rob Baxter - whose stock continues to rise steadily - picked up the coaching award.

Another good week for a side that is surely an example to all clubs when it comes to implementing a steady, admirable evolution.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Bath complete paperwork to ensure England centre Kyle Eastmond is available for Europe

He's had a difficult month after the disciplinary action that was taken against him following his walk-out at Sale, but Bath Rugby and England centre Kyle Eastmond is set to feature for his club during the forthcoming fortnight of European rugby.

Despite not having initially been registered by Bath for the pool stages of the Amlin Cup, Bath are now completing the necessary paperwork to ensure Eastmond is eligible for Saturday's match in Mogliano. Read my exclusive story here.