Exeter skipper Tom Hayes warns against complacency

Tom Hayes
Hayes was an ever-present in Exeter's team last season

Exeter skipper Tom Hayes has said the club cannot afford to be complacent as they prepare for a second season of Premiership rugby.

The Chiefs finished eighth in their debut season, a position Hayes is determined to build upon.

He said: "Last year is last year, it's gone now and we have to start looking forward and improving all the time.

"There's still a long way to go and no one is assured of their place, we'll be fighting for jerseys in pre-season."

The Chiefs squad return for pre-season training on Thursday, giving themselves just over two months to prepare for their first game against last year's beaten finalists Leicester Tigers on Saturday, 3 September.

"There is always an excitement about the new season starting and we have a couple of new players to bring in as well," said Hayes.

"We'll be putting our game plan in place and one of the good things about this squad is that we enjoy doing that and we have a good input into it.

"The coaches are very good at getting us involved and talking about things and we'll make the most of the time we have available before that first game."

Lock forward Hayes was an ever-present member of the Chiefs team last term, playing every single minute of Premiership rugby.

However, he will face fresh competition over the next 12 months in the form of new signings Aly Muldowney and Peter Short.

"It looks like the quality is going to improve again this season," said Hayes.

"I think the two boys signed in the second-row are going to take us forward and they may take a place next season or will certainly be pushing for a place."

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