Thomas Waldrom believes Exeter Chiefs’ young stars like Henry Slade and Jack Nowell are becoming the backbone of the team.
Slade and Nowell have established themselves in the Chiefs side in recent years and have also broken into the England team.
And Waldrom, who himself has become an integral member of the Chiefs squad since joining from Leicester Tigers last year, is hoping they now have the right balance to go one step further during the 2015/16 campaign by finishing in the top four come May.
Waldrom said: “We have had players coming in with a bit more experience, and young guys like Sladey, Jack and Dave (Ewers) who are now in their third year in the Premiership.
“Those guys are becoming our backbone. It’s great to be able to build a team around them.
“We have a core group with a lot of experience and we can all add little bits and the coaches have done a great job in finding out what they need for the squad, putting the building blocks there and we know it is up to us to try to perform, and hopefully be a little bit better than we were last year.”
He continued: “It’s really healthy to have a lot of competition and in the back row we certainly have that. If you have a bad day even in training you come off wondering what is going to happen next week – that can only be a good thing.
“The competition is good but we all get on as well and communicate well with a good team spirit.”
Waldrom had a superb debut campaign with Exeter Chiefs and finished as Aviva Premiership Rugby’s top tryscorer – equalling Neil Back’s record tally of 16 for a forward which stretched back to the 1998/99 season.
The 32-year-old has yet to cross the line this term though and said: “It’s one of those things, when it comes off the tries come thick and fast but it’s not about chasing things like that – I need to do what is right for the team and doing the best possible.
“I think we have done really well, we worked hard over pre-season and it just shows that the effort we put in is paying off.
“We want to keep that momentum going.”
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