- Exeter College play Hartpury on Wednesday, 8 November
- Three Exeter College forwards represent England U18s
After six wins in eight matches, and four England call-ups, it is fair to say that Exeter College have enjoyed their rugby in the AASE League this season.
Exeter returned to the competition this year, replacing last year’s finalists Bicton College, and Head Coach Rob Gibson believes that the new environment is responsible for their excellent form.
“With a large number of new players and a new set up, we never expected to have such good results as we have," says Gibson.
“The support from the college has been fantastic. Everybody is getting behind the programme so I’m delighted we’ve been able to reward them with results on the pitch.”
Exeter are on an unbeaten run of three games after their 34-11 victory over Beechen Cliff last week, and Gibson believes the AASE League is as competitive as it has ever been.
“You could say that last week’s result flattered us a little against a strong Beechen Cliff side. We know that each week is competitive and that we have to stay at our best to keep winning.”
Their unbeaten run will certainly be under threat this week, when Gibson’s side face Gloucester Rugby affiliated Hartpury College.
The AASE League champions are on a winning streak of their own, with 31 victories on the bounce. They also finished top of the South Division in stage one, two places above Exeter.
“I wanted us to have another crack at them so I was pleased that we qualified for Division One. Hartpury are strong opposition at this level so we’ve just got to stay positive and aim for the win,” added Gibson.
The vision of the AASE League is to provide a talent development environment to give players the best opportunity to progress into England representative sides, while achieving their academic potential.
Exeter’s star players are also competing at a national level with Richard Capstick currently part of the England U17 development squad, while prop forwards Marcus Street, James Kenny and flanker Charlie Wright are in the England U18s squad.
“It is a fantastic boost,” said Gibson. “The biggest challenge for these guys is to come back into our environment and help raise the standards of the team – not just on the field but off it as well.”
All AASE League matches to be played on Wednesday 9th November:
South Division One:
Beechen Cliff School v The Henley College
Hartpury College v Exeter College
North Division One:
Gosforth Academy v Oaklands College
South Division Two:
SGS Filton College v Truro and Penwith College
St Paul's Catholic College v Ivybridge Community College
North Division Two:
Moulton College v Bishop Burton College
Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College v Myerscough College