Exeter fly-half Gareth Steenson still has an important role to play at the Premiership club despite starting among the replacements against Wasps on Sunday.
That was the word from the Chiefs' director of rugby Rob Baxter, who had Henry Slade in the number 10 jersey and new signing Olly Devoto in midfield for his side's 25-20 defeat at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
"I think the world of Steeno, he's been a very good player for us and is a great leader," Baxter told the BBC.
Thirty-two-year-old Steenson has been an Exeter player since 2008 and finished last season as the Premiership's top points-scorer.
"If we're going to be a successful team this year a large part of that will be down to Gareth Steenson, whether that's being on the bench, whether that's starting or whether that's being part of everything we do," added Baxter.
"He's very aware of that and I'm very aware of that and I think for this game we were nearly there."