On Wednesday night, the Chiefs Twitter page teased us with the tweet “Big news coming out of @ExeterChiefs in the morning – find out using all the club media sources #newarrivals”. Thursday morning rolled around and it did not disappoint. British and Irish Lion second row Geoff Parling along with potential future England winger Olly Woodburn will be donning a Chiefs jersey next year.
Take that in for a second. Not so long ago, the Chiefs were restricted to growing international players (Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Tom Johnson for example). Sandy Park was not yet the destination seasoned veterans were choosing to come and play rugby. In the past couple of years, all has change. It is no secret any more that the Chiefs are on the rise, the arrival of Thomas Waldrom last year was a precursor for more high-quality talent and on Wednesday morning we saw the continuation of that movement.
The arrival of Parling is of particular note, an England stalwart over the past three years as well as a British and Irish Lion, Parling will bring immense expertise in the line out. His experience too will be a huge asset for a young Chiefs side. Speaking on Wednesday ahead of his start against the Newport Gwent Dragons, young second row Will Carrick-Smith described the arrival of Parling as a “fantastic opportunity”.
Meanwhile, Chiefs fans will know the substantial potential of Woodburn having seen him visit earlier this season with Bath in the LV Cup. He has electric pace, a crucial component that the Chiefs could do with adding further to in their back line. Having struggled for game time at Bath behind Anthony Watson, Semesa Rokoduguni, Matt Banahan and Horacio Agulla, Woodburn could potentially form a formidable wing partnership with the fan-favourite Nowell, if he can earn a starting berth at Sandy Park.
Oli Davis- Sports Teambookmark me