Will Hooley: Exeter Chiefs sign Northampton Saints fly-half

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Will Hooley
Will Hooley won the Under-20 World Cup in 2013 alongside a number of Chiefs players including Henry Slade and Jack Nowell

Northampton fly-half Will Hooley will join Exeter in the summer after agreeing a deal until 2017.

The 21-year-old is a former England Under-20 international and has played seven times for Saints this season.

Hooley has spent much of the past two seasons dual-registered with Championship side Moseley.

"He ticks a lot of the boxes for us. He's the right age to be developing another 10, he's got a very good skill set," said Exeter boss Rob Baxter.

"The timing is good for both of us. Will's probably ready for a new challenge and we're ready to bring a young fly-half into the club."

Hooley is the latest player to move to Sandy Park in the summer following and

He will vie with Henry Slade and Gareth Steenson for the number 10 jersey next season.

"Will's not come here to be third choice," Baxter told BBC Sport. "One of the nice characteristics about him is that he wants to come here and become the number one.

"He's aware we have two very good fly-halves here under contract and he has his work cut out, but the fact that he wants to come here and he wants to work very hard to break into that."

Hooley's arrival means former Wales fly-half Ceri Sweeney will be probably be playing his rugby elsewhere next season.

Ceri Sweeney
Ceri Sweeney joined Exeter from Cardiff Blues in the summer of 2013

Sweeney, 35, has not started a Premiership game in his two seasons at Exeter, featuring almost exclusively in the LV= Cup and Europe.

"Ceri is likely to be moving on, and if he stays in rugby I'm sure he'll do very well because he'll be an exceptionally good player for the right club," said Baxter.

"He's done a fantastic job for us in very difficult circumstances and to be fair I can't talk highly enough of Ceri.

"Those who've seen his performances in the LV= Cup, those who see the way he trains here and the way he runs things behind the scenes in a lot of ways and a lot of things we do have been great, but I think now the time's right for us to develop a younger player."

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