Thursday, September 15, 2011

Argentina Players in England - Exeter Chiefs

Englands Premiership, the Aviva Premiership is now well underway, having started over one month ago and it is time to take a look at one of the clubs. The surprize pacakge of the 2010-2011 Aviva Premiership was the Exeter Chiefs who played at the elite level for the first time in the history of the club. The Exeter Chiefs were expected to be wooden-spooners and quickly return to the second division but the club not only managed to stay at the top level but also defeated some of the best teams in England. Prommotion to the top was not easy or instand. A massive effort was made to win promotion in the 2007-08 season when Exeter recruited strongly. After three seasons of trying, the Exeter Chiefs won promotion to England´s top flight. Before being promoted to the Aviva Premiership, the Exeter Chiefs had also competed in the EDF Energy Trophy Final (formerly the Powergen Shield) four times between the years of 2002 and 2008 but was always runner-up.

The club is based in the city of Exeter which is a historic city in the country of Devon. It is the second largest city in Devon after Plymouth but is the only side from Devon in the Aviva Premiership. Exeter is located only 60KM from Plymouth and 110KM from former English power, Bristol. Both Plymouth and Bristol play rugby in England´s second division. With an estimated population of 118,800 in 2009 the city is far from being that of London but is nonetheless larger than others involved in the Aviva Premiership including Bath and Worcester. Exeter´s home matches are played at Sandy Park which has a capacity of 10,744. The home crowd has built itself a reputation and has helped the Chiefs compete well. The supporters can be seen singing the tomahawk chop during matches at Sandy Park and are usually accompanied by drums.

The club has players from three sides competing at the on-going Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. They are Samoan scrumhalf, Junior Poluleuligaga, Welsh prop Craig Mitchell and ArgentIne winger Gonzalo Camacho who had a fine game vs England in the opening match and will also play this Saturday vs Romania. The Pumas winger was the clubs big signing for the 2011-2012 season after he was a star performer for Aviva Premiership rivals, the Harlequins last season, scoring the only try in the teams Amlin Challenge Cup Final victry vs Stade Français. Last season the Exeter Chiefs had two Argentine players with flyhalf, Ignacio Mieres joining the club during the season. Mieres is back for his second season with the club after previously playing in France for Stade Français and Perpignan. Prop, Ignacio Elosu is no longer at the club, however, as he was released.

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