Fixtures - Top Bar

Lees loving unexpected success at Exeter Chiefs

MitchLees15SB1005

Mitch Lees has come a long way in the last two years – in more ways than one.

The Exeter Chiefs lock was plucked from relative obscurity in the summer of 2013 by London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell and shipped over from New South Wales to Oxford.

After impressing at the Kassam Stadium and helping the Exiles secure promotion to Aviva Premiership Rugby, he completed the switch to Sandy Park.

He soon made his Chiefs debut against London Welsh and with 11 league appearances now under his belt, the 26-year-old is preparing to take on his former employers again this weekend.

And the build-up has Lees in a reflective mood.

“I was a mechanic straight out of school and I worked in a bank after that,” recalled the second row. “I always wanted to play professional rugby in Australia but I never really got a chance.

“I got offered a go at London Welsh last year, which I was grateful for. I got in contact with Justin Burnell and he pulled me over from Australia and I find myself very thankful for that opportunity.

“It’s great now – playing professional rugby at Exeter Chiefs, third on the ladder, quarter-finals in the Challenge Cup and LV= Cup semi-finals as well. I would have never thought this would happen two years ago.

“Coming to the Premiership I didn’t know how much game time I would get at Chiefs. They have got some quality locks already and I thought I would maybe get a game here and there.

“I started the first half a dozen games and I’ve got 11 Premiership appearances already. I’m ecstatic, I can’t believe I’ve played this much already and the season is still going so there is plenty of time to go.”

And while Lees admits it is difficult to watch his old club struggle through this season without a win to their name, he can at least revel in the way his career is panning out.

“They had a lot of ambition to go well and it’s a bit difficult to watch week in, week out,” he added. “It’s tough for guys who are my friends.

“First and foremost I look for my home club to go well but it’s hard. No matter who you are, you want to see old friends go well and it would be nice to see them get something out of the season, but it hasn’t gone that way.

“I try not to think too far ahead in the future. I’m just enjoying my time at the moment, I’ve got another year here at Chiefs and hopefully that leads to many more.

“I’m just enjoying my time in professional rugby because I didn’t think this would be happening.”

Each month Aviva is giving fans their say on who deserves to win the coveted Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month award with the chance to win four tickets to an Aviva Premiership Rugby game of their choice! Become the 10th judge and vote by visiting www.aviva.co.uk/10thjudge open until midnight on Thursday 5 March

 

Latest News

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

Exeter Chiefs side to face ASM Clermont Auvergne

Whether history repeats itself for Exeter Chiefs in the European Champions Cup only time will tell, but head coach Rob…

Michele Campagnaro scored twice in Exeter Chiefs' 31-19 win over Ulster in Round 5.

Bristol Rugby name team for Cardiff Blues clash

Bristol Rugby round off their European Challenge Cup campaign with a visit to Cardiff Blues on Saturday (3pm KO). Head…

tusipisibri16sb1111

Newcastle Falcons team to face Ospreys

Newcastle Falcons have named their team for Saturday’s European Challenge Cup visit of unbeaten group leaders Ospreys, club captain Will…

Will Welch

Saracens name team to face Toulon

Saracens have named their side to face Toulon for Saturday’s round six European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 3 clash at…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Sale Sharks Name Team To Take On Scarlets

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Scarlets in Round Six of the European Rugby Champions Cup at…

willaddisonbatsal1617sb1111

Harlequins team to play Stade Francais

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Stade Francais in Round 6 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup at the…

James Horwill

Eddie Jones has announced his England squad ahead of the 2017 RBS 6 Nations

The 34-man squad will train in Portugal between 22 – 27 January before assembling at Pennyhill Park to prepare for…

Maro Itoje missed out on the autumn internationals with a fractured hand.

Tom Arscott statement

Sale Sharks have today issued the following statement on Tom Arscott.  Sale Sharks have today terminated the contract of Tom…

BARNET, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Owen Farrell of Saracens and Tom Arscott of Sale Sharks during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Saracens and Sale Sharks at Allianz Park on December 10, 2016 in Barnet, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Jack O’Connell eyeing Bristol Rugby momentum from European finale

Qualification for the European Rugby Challenge Cup knockout stages may be beyond Bristol Rugby but Jack O’Connell claims they are…

666710651_tm_0740_96dd8701c3a7992af96ab9d019ac86f2.jpg

Fixture Change – Wasps v Gloucester Rugby

Premiership Rugby can confirm that the kick-off time for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 16 Wasps v Gloucester Rugby fixture…

Aviva Premiership ball

Harlequins Foundation reach £100,000 Great Ormond Street Hospital target

The Harlequins Foundation is today (Thursday 19th January) pleased to announce that it has succeeded in raising £100,000 for Great…

Harlequins celebrate

Northampton Saints team news versus Montpellier

The Northampton Saints team has been announced for Friday’s European Rugby Champions Cup clash with Montpellier. An attacking line-up has…

georgenorthnortbri17sb

Leicester Tigers prove big draw at Welford Road

Leicester Tigers attendances have topped 100,000 over the last four home games at Welford Road. The best-supported team in English…

Adam Thompstone