Double delight for Chiefs

Whitehead and Vickers joins Exeter

Last Updated: 25/06/10 9:15am

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Vickers: Joining Exeter

Vickers: Joining Exeter

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Guinness Premiership new-boys Exeter Chiefs have bolstered their front row with the signings of Chris Whitehead and Jon Vickers.

Hooker Whitehead arrives at Sandy Park from London Welsh, while the versatile Vickers, who can play across the front row, has signed from Northampton.

The 24-year-old Whitehead came through the academy system at Leicester and has won honours for England at Under-16s Under-18s and Under-19s levels.

And Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has been monitoring Whitehead for some time.

Baxter told the club's official site: "Chris has been on my radar for quite a while now. Obviously as forwards coach I spend a great deal of time analysing opposition packs of forwards and Chris has stood out as dynamic, aggressive hooker for several seasons now in the Championship.

"I talk a great deal about us building our team around a strong work ethic and Chris is a good fit for us on this basis. His number of ball caries, tackles and clear-outs is always high and he has a strong set-piece game to add to this.

Potential

"Chris has a lot of Championship experience despite being only 24 but I believe he has the potential and time to improve beyond being a Championship player when he starts to work with our coaches and conditioning staff."

Baxter believes 21-year-old Vickers has enormous potential.

"Jon is one of those players that you need to watch closely as an individual to see what he brings to a team," he said.

"Initially, I was unsure about the role he could play with us but after breaking down several of his performances for Northampton, it became clear to me that he has enormous potential.

"We will primarily be looking at Jon as a hooker, but he can scrummage strongly in all front row positions and brings a good physicality in defence and can ball carry well.

"Jon came down to the club and we put him through his paces with some lineout throwing drills and his technique stood up well, despite it being pretty much a job interview! He is in great physical shape and is desperate to prove he should be playing high level rugby on a regular basis."

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