James Freeman: Exeter Chiefs forward adapting to Premiership after summer move

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
James Freeman
James Freeman has only played A League fixtures since moving to Exeter in the summer

Exeter Chiefs back-row James Freeman says he is adapting well to the step up to Premiership rugby.

The 26-year-old moved to the club in the summer after two years with Championship side Jersey, and is set to make his debut in the weekend's Anglo-Welsh Cup tie with Northampton.

"It's been a great change of pace," Freeman told BBC Sport.

"Coming up to speed with everything has been a challenge and one I'm still undertaking, but it's going well."

Freeman scored 16 tries in his two years at Jersey as he helped the club to last season's British & Irish Cup final and their highest-ever finish in the Championship.

Despite scoring so many tries, he says he is becoming even more attack-minded at Exeter.

"Game plans tends to differ and I tended to mould myself into quite a defensive player back at Jersey," he said.

"Here I've got more carrying and more time on the ball and things like that - it's steadily starting to improve and hopefully when I make my debut then I'll be able to transfer that across."

He is embarking on a similar path to former Jersey team-mate Harry Williams, who two seasons after moving from St Peter to Sandy Park is now part of Eddie Jones' England squad.

Her is one of many players, such as Tomas Francis, Mitch Lees and Jack Yeandle, that Exeter have signed from Championship clubs and moulded into Premiership regulars.

"They have a a great track record," added Freeman. "It takes time to build those players into players that are ready to play in the Premiership week in, week out.

"It's just about moulding that and making sure they're ready to go when the time comes, and that's hopefully what I'll be focusing on at the moment."

Top Stories