TOP BAR - Fixtures

Young Chiefs head West

Exeter Chiefs have handed Championship side Cornish Pirates a pre-season boost by agreeing to allow six of their squad to join them on dual registered terms this season.

Max Bodilly, Tom Hendrickson and Jack Innard, all of whom spent last season at the Mennaye Field will all return to the Mennaye Field for the 2015/16 season, as will scrum-half Stuart Townsend, who is currently recovering from a knee injury sustained on England Under-20s duty at the recent Junior World Championships in Italy.

And the quartet will be joined by back-row forward Sam Simmonds and speedy back Jack Arnott, both of whom will remain in the Championship having spent last season on similar terms with Plymouth Albion.

All six players will have the option to return to the Chiefs – as and when they are needed by Exeter head coach Rob Baxter – but predominantly they will be looking to further develop their careers playing regularly in English rugby's second tier.

In recent years, the Chiefs and the Pirates have engaged in an excellent working relationship that has seen the likes of Jack Yeandle, Dave Ewers and Sam Hill all feature for the Cornish club.

Chiefs' Academy manager Robin Cowling said: "For a number of years now we have had a great relationship working with the Cornish Pirates. By allowing our young players to join them in deals like this, not only are we ensuring they are getting regular game time at a very high standard, but we are ensuring their development within the game continues at pace.

"The success of the relationship is there for all to see with the likes of Jack Yeandle, Dave Ewers and Sam Hill having used their time down in Cornwall to develop their game – and then coming back to the Chiefs and establishing themselves as first team regulars.

"Just last season we saw how playing regularly really helped the likes of Jack Innard, Tom Hendrickson and Max Bodilly, the latter of whom played a key role in us reaching the LV= Cup Final for a second successive season.

"As we've said before, working with locals clubs like the Pirates, Plymouth Albion and Taunton is a very worthwhile exercise for us and a 'win-win' for everyone concerned."

Elsewhere, Plymouth Albion – who next season will be playing in National League One – have previously confirmed they have set up similar arrangements for Exeter Chiefs trio Harrison Cully, Ed Holmes and Jack Maunder.

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