Baxter expects interest in Hepher

Date published: July 8 2016

Exeter boss rugby Rob Baxter said it won't surprise him his club's back-line coach Ali Hepher was wanted as a head coach by another club.

Hepher has impressed in his role at the Chiefs, helping them reach their first-ever Premiership final last season, and he also guided the England Saxons to a 2-0 series win over South Africa 'A' last month.

"If I was a coach or a CEO at another rugby club I'd certainly have a look at him," Baxter told the BBC.

"But what you do need to remember is Ali's just played a very big part, and has done over a number of years, in a team that have just lost a Premiership final and just got knocked out of a European quarter-final, so we're a pretty good side in ourselves.

"If you want to leave Exeter there are not many clubs better than us to go to, and I think that plays a big part in what our players want to do and what our staff want to do."

Hepher is under contract at Exeter until the end of the 2018 season and signed his deal at the same time as Baxter.

"If you want to be a successful sporting business you want your club packed with people that everyone else wants," added Baxter.

"It's not a doubled-edged sword, if nobody else wanted our players or our staff we wouldn't be a very good rugby club and we wouldn't be a very good team, so that's just how it has to be."