Rob Baxter: Exeter unlikely to replace Mitch Lees if injured

Mitch Lees
Mitch Lees has established himself as one of Exeter's finest forwards this season

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter says it is unlikely that the club will bring in an extra second row, even if Mitch Lees is ruled out with injury.

The 27-year-old was forced off in the first half of Exeter's 8-3 loss at Northampton with a bicep problem.

Exeter have already lost lock Damian Welch with a long-term chest injury.

"We've got guys like Ollie Atkins, Jonny Hill, Sam Skinner and Jerry Sexton, who have played second row within our systems," Baxter said.

"Potentially, we're better off using those guys."

Exeter's major injuries
Henry Slade: England centre out for much of the season after breaking his leg against Wasps
Luke Cowan-Dickie: England hooker out since November after breaking his thumb
Dave Ewers: Highly-rated flanker has not played since the start of December after injuring his knee
Damian Welch: Ever-present second row out for 'several months' after having surgery on a pectoral muscle injury in December

Australian-born Lees, who is English-qualified, has been touted as a possible England player with the Exeter coaching staff discussing the forward with new national team boss Eddie Jones last month.

Of Baxter's possible replacements only Atkins has featured for Exeter this season, having come off the bench six times.

And while Baxter says he is unlikely to bring in a replacement, he says he does have the resources available should be need to make a move.

"We can, but I'm always one to be very careful about it," Baxter told BBC Radio Devon.

"We need to see what the length of this injury is going to be with Mitch to start with.

"But by the time we bring someone in and then you get them up to speed and you get them playing how we play, it takes three, four or five weeks."

Top Stories