Marines Influence At Exeter

Everyone at Exeter Chiefs is delighted for our very own back-rower Tom Johnson.

He has gone down to South Africa with the senior side this month and started in all three Tests against the Springboks.

I am sure I speak for everyone by saying that Tom has not looked out of place in the international arena and he put in another excellent performance in Saturday’s 14-14 draw.

He is a good friend of mine and would always take me along with him for top-up training during the season or to do that little bit extra.

His performances have been excellent for the club's growing reputation too. With Haydn Thomas getting involved with the Barbarians game before they left and Tom's showing on tour, it has let anyone who didn't already know that there are some pretty good players down here at Sandy Park.

Hopefully, Exeter boys getting called up for national duty will be contagious next season.

And talking of next season, we were all back at the club last week to blow away the cobwebs at the start of pre-season training.

As I have realised after several pre-seasons at the Chiefs, there is no such thing as ‘easing’ into it.
 
With a strong Marine influence in our Strength & Conditioning staff, there is only one option – hard graft.
 
As any Aviva Premiership player will tell you, ‘off season’ isn’t really ‘off’ at all.
 
Players have to keep ticking over and working hard ready for the start of the campaign, otherwise you find yourself with a mountain to climb before you have even started.
 
Because the sport is so professional now, there are very few people who let themselves go in a summer eating or drinking binge.
 
No matter how hard you train, however, the first few days are always a shock to the system.

Not only do we all want to make sure that we build on last season's success of making the Aviva Premiership's top six but, as players, we all want to earn that shirt - and keep hold of it too.


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