Fixtures - Top Bar

Chiefs gearing up nicely for new season – Moon

BMoon-Chiefs-0710

Ben Moon says he can feel a mood change with the Exeter Chiefs camp as the start of the new Aviva Premiership season draws ever closer.

Rob Baxter’s side wrap up their pre-season campaign this weekend with the final instalment of this year’s Westcountry Challenge Cup – a competition the Devon club have already secured with a game to spare.

Last weekend’s narrow 31-33 victory over Gloucester ensured the Chiefs made it three wins from three in pre-season, having already seen off the Cherry and Whites and Bath on home soil in recent weeks.

This Saturday, Moon will be part of a strong Chiefs squad who will travel to Bath to conclude their pre-season, just a week before they head to the Recreation Ground again for their seasonal opener against Mike Ford’s side.

And for the long-serving loose-head prop, he says he cannot wait to get stuck into the cut and thrust of English rugby’s top division for a sixth successive season.

"You can definitely see the mood is changing around the place," said the 26-year-old forward. "Each day we’re getting closer to the start of the season and the real action starting.

"Last week was probably the start of the process and bit by bit it’s picking up, even this past week it’s gone up another notch in intensity and focus and it will only get more and more as we get nearer that first game up at Bath."

Having sat out the opening two games due to some pre-season niggles, Moon returned to the Chiefs starting XV last Saturday at the Memorial Stadium.

"It was good to get out there again," he explained. "I had a few niggles early on in pre-season, but I’ve got over them now and I can’t wait for the new season to begin. It’s going to be another big season for us all, especially being back in the Champions Cup, but it’s also going to be pretty relentless as we haven’t got the LV breaks like in previous years.

"For sure the squad is going to be tested to the full, every week is going to be a real battle for whoever is playing, but the make-up of the squad this season is probably the strongest it’s ever been here at the club."

With the Chiefs narrowly missing out on reaching the Premiership play-offs for the first time last season, Moon – who is edging ever closer to reaching 100 league games for the Devon club – says there is a ‘burning desire’ within the ranks to push on again this term.

"Last season was good in a lot of ways, but we were also a little bit disappointed to just miss out on the play-offs," said Moon. "In the end it was only points’ difference that stopped us from getting in that top four.

"We know we can compete with the top teams in the division and that it was that blip around Christmas time – when we lost four games on the trot – that cost us in the end. Hopefully, we can get that consistency right this time round and really push on."

As Moon knows, however, the hard work continues this weekend against a Bath side, who last season were edged out in the Premiership final at Twickenham by Saracens.

"They [Bath] are always a quality outfit and that will certainly be the case again this season," added Moon.

"Games between us and them are normally good battles and with us having got the monkey off our back in terms of beating them in the league, I think we can go up there knowing we can get a result."

And with head coach Baxter bolstering the Chiefs squad with a plethora of new talent this summer, the Tiverton-born forward knows the competition that exists within the current squad will only bring the best out of everyone.

"In every position we have quality across the board," explained Moon. "Every one of us within the squad knows how big the competition for places is going to be, so it’s up to each of us to get our heads down and work as hard as we can."
 

Latest News

Owen Farrell leads the way in Europe

No one has more points in the European Rugby Champions Cup than Owen Farrell after the Saracens fly-half was exceptional…

Owen Farrell kicked five points in Saracens victory over Toulon

Bristol Grammar School To Host Land Rover Cup

Bristol Rugby Community Foundation’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup will be held at Bristol Grammar School’s Sports Ground on Clevedon…

Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup

Saints and supporters help raise even more money for Royal British Legion

Northampton Saints and its supporters have a long track record of getting behind the country’s servicemen and women. This has…

Saints and supporters help raise even more money for Royal British Legion

Saracens to face Glasgow Warriors – Mark McCall reaction

Defending champions Saracens will face Glasgow Warriors at Allianz Park in the quarter final stages of the European Rugby Champions…

Mark McCall

How the European Rugby Champions Cup semi-finals draw works

Following confirmation of the Champions Cup quarter-final line-up, the 2016/17 semi-final pairings will be as follows: Semi-final 1 - winner…

championscup17sb1111

Carlo Festuccia to re-join Wasps for remainder of season

Former Italy, Wasps and Zebre hooker, Carlo Festuccia, has re-joined Wasps on a short-term contract until the end of the…

Carlo Festuccia

Aviva Premiership Rugby European round-up: Wasps make quarter-finals

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young was far from overawed by his side’s performance in Italy, despite a 41-27 success…

PARMA, ITALY - JANUARY 21:  Christian Wade  of Wasps scores a fourth try during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Zebre Rugby and Wasps at  Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on January 21, 2017 in Parma, Italy.  (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images)

How the Challenge Cup semi-final draw works

If you've always struggled to work out how the semi-final draw of the European Challenge Cup works then look no…

GLOUCESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21: Lewis Ludlow of Gloucester scores his team's first try of the game during the European Rugby Challenge Cup match between Gloucester Rugby and Bayonne on January 21, 2017 in Gloucester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final draw

Reigning champions Saracens have earned a home quarter-final against Glasgow Warriors in the European Champions Cup quarter-finals after topping Pool…

JameHakellWapCa14B1005

European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final draw

Group winners Bath Rugby and Gloucester Rugby will both be at home in their European Challenge Cup quarter-finals after topping…

BATH, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 21: Anthony Watson of Bath Rugby goes over for his sides third try during the European Rugby Challenge Cup match between Bath Rugby and Pau at the Recreation Ground on January 21, 2017 in Bath, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Aviva Premiership Rugby European wrap: Big displays see Saracens, Gloucester Rugby and Bath Rugby progress

Mark McCall believes his Saracens side delivered a “coming of age” performance after a dogged 10-3 victory over Toulon guaranteed…

BARNET, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21:  Chris Ashton of Saracens scores the first try during the European Rugby Champions Cup between Saracens and RC Toulon at Allianz Park on January 21, 2017 in Barnet, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

European round-up: Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints did captain Lee Dickson proud on Friday night despite suffering a 26-17 defeat at the hands of Montpellier…

BARNET, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Lee Dickson of Northampton passes the ball during the Aviva Premiership match between Saracens and Northampton Saints at Allianz Park on September 17, 2016 in Barnet, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Concussion Management Review Group Update – Sale Sharks

The joint RFU/Premiership Rugby Concussion Management Review Group met following the referral of the untoward incident involving Sale Sharks’ player…

PremRugbyBallsSngle

Matt Hopper: Harlequins ready for Stade Francais cup final

Harlequins are gearing up for a ‘cup final’ when they visit France in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, but centre…

Harlequins v Saracens - Aviva Premiership

Chris Harris desperate to kick on after Newcastle Falcons return

Newcastle Falcons’ narrow European Rugby Challenge Cup loss to Grenoble may have dashed their hopes of making it through to…

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Gloucester Rugby name side for final European pool game against Bayonne

With a home quarter-final spot resting on the result, Gloucester Rugby make seven changes for the visit of Aviron Bayonnais…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Wasps team to travel to Parma to play Zebre Rugby

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his squad to travel to Parma, for Wasps’ final match in the Champions…

Wasps v Toulouse - European Rugby Champions Cup

Donncha O’Callaghan to lead Worcester Warriors against Russians

Donncha O’Callaghan will lead Warriors in their final European Challenge Cup game of the 2016/17 campaign against Enisei-STM at Sixways…

Harlequins v Worcester Warriors - Aviva Premiership

Bath Rugby name strong side for final European pool game

Bath Rugby have named a strong team to face Pau in the final pool game of the European Rugby Challenge…

Semesa Rokoduguni

Leicester Tigers team news for Champions Cup

Jack Roberts and Luke Hamilton are recalled to the Leicester Tigers starting line-up for the European Champions Cup fixture against…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library