Fixtures - Top Bar

Exeter Chiefs’ Harry Strong out to seize his big chance in Anglo-Welsh Cup

Harry Strong

Academy youngster Harry Strong hopes to use the Anglo-Welsh Cup as the perfect ‘stepping stone’ to help develop his career at Exeter Chiefs.

Handed his senior debut in last weekend’s Round One clash at Harlequins, the 19-year-old is poised to get another opportunity this Sunday when the Devon club play host to Cardiff Blues at Sandy Park (3pm).

Brought on as a first half replacement for the injured Phil Dollman a week ago, Strong certainly did not look out of place as he fitted in nicely to the Exeter back division.

For the player himself it was a moment to savour and something he had craved ever since he picked up a rugby ball all those years ago.

“It was phenomenal to get on and play my first game,” he said. “I got on probably a lot earlier than I thought I would have, but that probably helped in a way. I was a little nervous before the game, but once I got onto the pitch all that went and all I wanted to do was play well and just do my best.”

Although the Chiefs suffered a 29-15 defeat in the end, Strong believes the competition is still alive for Ricky Pellow’s side and that they must deliver a big performance against the Welsh region this weekend.

“It was disappointing at the end because it’s never nice when you don’t win,” added Strong. “If we’re honest we probably gave away too many penalties and that allowed them to kind of control the game.

“It’s something we have talked about a lot this week and now we have go out there this weekend, work hard for one another and really take the game to Cardiff.”

With the Chiefs keen to allow youth their chance in competitions like that of the Anglo-Welsh, Strong and a handful of the club’s other academy graduates will again be thrust into the fray for this latest encounter.

“I think if we get our chance, like we did last weekend, we have to take it with both hands,” said the Exeter-born back. “For all of us it’s a stepping stone in terms of our development.

“Obviously it’s good to have boys the same age as me around the side. People like Keasty and Joe Simmonds I’ve grown up playing with, so it was good for all of us to make that first start together last weekend.

“At the same time, the senior boys are just as good. They are always talking to us and offering advice on how to do things that can help us improve. In training they are very supportive because if you do make a mistake, they don’t tend to get on your back as they know you’re giving 100 per cent.

“That kind of support, along with the backing we get from the coaches as well is just brilliant. For me, working with the likes of Ali Hepher and Ricky Pellow, it’s really brought my game on and there door is always open if you need to ask them anything.”

And Strong was also quick to praise the input given to him by others within the Academy set-up in the past two years.

“I was pretty late coming into the academy, but from day one it’s been phenomenal. People like Rob Gibson, Glenn Channing, Sam Morton and Rich Tucker, without the support they gave me early on, I don’t think I’d be where I am now.

“They helped get me from college to the Chiefs and really helped my whole game come on leaps and bounds. Personally, I can’t thank them enough for what they have done.”

Now, the next step for Strong is to deliver on the bigger stage and what better setting than Sandy Park this Sunday.

Latest News

George North gets first 2017 tour try in dramatic British & Irish Lions draw

The British & Irish Lions concluded their midweek fixture list in New Zealand with a thrilling 31-31 draw against the…

Newcastle Falcons can’t wait for trip to Philadelphia

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards believes that the second Aviva Premiership Rugby regular season match in America can…

Dean Richards

Mark Reddish retires from rugby

Harlequins second row Mark Reddish has today (Tuesday 27th June) announced that he will retire from the game due to…

Mark Reddish

Aviva Premiership Rugby stars to feature heavily in Lions final midweek game

EIGHT Aviva Premiership players will start the British & Irish Lions’ final midweek game tomorrow looking to force their way…

Teofilo Paulo excited by London Irish move but will miss home cooking

Samoan international Teofilo Paulo is making the most of his mum’s cooking ahead of the summer move to London Irish.…

British & Irish Lions beaten in first Test by New Zealand

Two second-half tries from winger Rieko Ioane helped New Zealand to a 30-15 victory in the first Test against the…

Harlequins Ladies coach savours upcoming Women’s Super Rugby season

Women’s sport is booming according to former Richmond prop and Scotland captain Karen Findlay, who is now relishing the prospect…

Aviva Tackling Numbers programme celebrated at Corporate Engagement Awards

Premiership Rugby and its Aviva Tackling Numbers programme enjoyed not one but two moments in the spotlight at the Corporate…

Corporate Engagement Awards

Lions ready for battle on eve of All Blacks Test

After months of waiting and weeks of build-up, The British & Irish Lions are ready to face the toughest challenge…

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Quartet sign Academy contracts with Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that Rhys Davies, Wil Partington, Miles Reid, and Kieran Verden have all signed long-term…

Todd Blackadder

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…

JamesPhillips1

Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches