Devon

Rugby fans cheer Exeter Chiefs in city victory parade

Exeter Chiefs victory parade
Image caption Residents mingled with rugby fans to cheer on the team.

Thousands of people have packed the centre of Exeter for a victory parade by the city's newly-promoted rugby team.

Exeter Chiefs made history on Wednesday by beating Bristol to gain promotion to the Guinness Premiership.

Next season the Chiefs will be the first Devon side in history to play top-flight rugby.

An open-top bus carried the team through the streets to a civic reception at the city's Guild Hall.

Head coach, Rob Baxter, said he was "very proud" of his players.

Gareth Steenson, who kicked six penalties and two drop goals in the game against Bristol, told BBC News he was overwhelmed by the reaction of the crowd.

"It's mad. I couldn't have imagined this a few years back when I came over to England," he said.

"The reception here's been fantastic - it's a great day for Exeter and for rugby in the South West in general."

It is hoped Exeter Chiefs' success could have positive spin-offs for the wider local economy, including bringing more visitors to the area.

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