Harry Williams: Exeter Chiefs' front row thankful for Jersey 'prop school'

By James LawBBC Sport
Harry Williams
Harry Williams is congratulated after scoring his first Exeter Chiefs try

Exeter Chiefs' Harry Williams says spending a season with Jersey's "prop school" has helped him progress.

The 24-year-old got his first try for the Devon side in their agonising European Champions Cup defeat at Wasps.

He has followed fellow props Richard Barrington, Sam Lockwood and Exeter team-mate Elvis Taione by moving to the Premiership from the Channel Islanders.

"Jersey have got a real culture for props, they bring a lot of front-rowers through," Williams told BBC Sport.

"They have a massive set-piece focus, so there's a lot laid on for you to go to other teams - it's a really good place.

"They call it prop school - over the years Elvis came through, Sam Lockwood from there's just signed for (Newcastle) Falcons, Richard Barrington at Saracens - the list goes on."

Richard Barrington
Richard Barrington also spent a year with Jersey and has gone on to play in successive Premiership finals for Saracens

Williams was once part of the Wasps academy and joined the Premiership's second-placed side from Jersey last summer.

He has made 10 appearances for Exeter, starting on four occasions.

"You always want to keep playing well, I think that's what it's got to be - that internal focus and intrinsic drive to keep going forward," added Williams.

"Any time you rest on your laurels and think 'things are going really well at the minute', that's when stuff will start going backwards."

Tomas Francis' suspension has opened the door for Williams and head coach Rob Baxter thinks he is taking his chance.

"Harry's a different character and we're really pleased that he is - he's doing very well because he's working very hard, and the majority of the credit must go down to him," said Baxter.

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