Damian Welch: Exeter Chiefs benefit from strength in depth

Damien Welch
Welch has scored six tries in 32 appearances for the Chiefs since his move from Llanelli Scarlets in 2012

Exeter Chiefs lock Damian Welch feels that the competition for places at Sandy Park is spurring the team on.

The Chiefs sit fourth in the Premiership after three matches and host Harlequins on Sunday.

"Everyone here is a competitive player and wants to be wearing that starting shirt," Welch told BBC Radio Devon.

"You know if you don't play particularly well, there's a host of guys who can come off the bench and step into that slot."

Welch has made 32 appearances for the Chiefs, scoring six tries, since

Will Chudley
Chudley comes into the Exeter side for Haydn Thomas, who suffered a concussion against Gloucester

"We're lucky here that if you lose someone to injury others can fit in," he added. "The strength in depth here is pretty good so you know for a fact that you're not going to play every single game."

England winger and skipper Dean Mumm is nearing fitness, along with hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie and winger Fetu'u Vainikolo.

But one area where the where Will Chudley is deputising for the injured Dave Lewis and Haydn Thomas.

"There are a lot of boys who'll be putting their hands up when they're fit," said Chudley. "The young lads that played their first full season last year are a season into it now and are a lot better in this environment.

"It's exciting but at the same time there's a lot of competition for places."