Exeter Chiefs will benefit from England tour role - Rob Baxter

By Phil HarlowBBC South West Sport
England role to boost Chiefs - Baxter

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter says being part of England's summer tour to Argentina has helped him on his return to Sandy Park.

Baxter was seconded to work alongside Stuart Lancaster in South America, with some of the regular coaching team on duty with the British and Irish Lions.

"I did pick up the odd thing from the different coaches and environment.

"Hopefully we can use a few tweaks to how we play and surprise a few people," Baxter, 42, told BBC South West Sport.

"It's about us keeping on pushing forward like we have for the last two or three years."

England enjoyed a first away series win against the Pumas for 32 years, despite some of their star players being rested or on tour with the Lions in Australia.

A new-look side - featuring the likes of Marland Yarde, Jonny May, Kyle Eastmond and Matt Kvesic - played some sparkling rugby as they earned 51-26 and 32-3 victories.

"It was a fantastic experience," said Baxter.

"There was a pretty fresh squad who were very enthusiastic. It made for a nice coaching experience when the players are enthusiastic to learn new things and are keen to get going despite it being the end of a hard season.

"It's a real pleasure to coach when it's in that kind of environment - very much like here at the club."

With Exeter's first Premiership game of the new campaign against last year's runners-up Northampton fast approaching, Baxter said he was eager to keep the momentum of the last few seasons going.

Since their promotion to the top flight, Exeter have finished eighth, fifth and sixth - enough to make the play-offs and qualify for the Heineken Cup for the last two seasons.

"It's not too difficult - we talk a lot about being ambitious and where the club want to go in the future," he added.

"We don't set too many timescales on that. We want to be a top-four side, playing in the quarter-final and semi-final and finals of competitions."

New signing Don Armand also believes the club should be looking to finish even higher up the table this season.

"We have to keep the momentum going - the higher you go the more pressure it is, but you learn a lot more," he told BBC South West Sport.

"I would like to make the top four, so we keep improving."

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