Exeter Chiefs players desperate to start in first game

Chris Whitehead
Whitehead began his career at Leicester before five years in the Championship

Exeter Chiefs hooker Chris Whitehead says competition to get into the starting XV is fierce at Sandy Park.

The Chiefs go to Welford Road to face nine-times champions Leicester Tigers on Saturday.

"Competition has been so high there's been a few, not necessarily fisticuffs, but people are desperate to be playing," Whitehead told BBC Devon.

"The ones lucky enough to be starting this weekend only have the shirt for this weekend," he added.

"The coaches keep telling us that there are that many players behind us that are good enough to fill in, so we have to go out there and play the best game of rugby that we can play."

Whitehead signed a new two-year contract at Sandy Park this year after signing from Wasps in 2010.

But before that he was an academy player at Leicester and knows how tough Saturday's game will be.

"I had four or five years there, which was fantastic, and it's put me in good stead to play in the Premiership now.

"I draw on a lot of experience from the Leicester culture that people talk about, a relatively hard-edged, hard-nosed team.

"We need to remember as a team we that we're playing Leicester at Welford Road and whatever team they put out it's a Leicester Tigers team and they'll be great competition," he said.