Aviva Premiership: Jerry Sexton relishing Exeter Chiefs trial

Aviva Premiership: Jerry Sexton is eager to prove himself to Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter

Exeter Chiefs on-trial Jerry Sexton Photo: Exeter Chiefs

Jerry Sexton says he is “excited” by the prospect of trying to earn himself a contract with Exeter Chiefs.

The 21-year-old forward has been given until the end of November to prove his worth to head coach Rob Baxter, who is keen to bolster his second row options with skipper Dean Mumm currently sidelined with a shoulder injury.

I’m looking forward to it, my brother said the coaches here are very good and that there are no superstars within the squad. Already you can see the club is all about hard work and that’s what I aim to do and hopefully get a chance to play

Jerry Sexton

Sexton – the younger brother of Ireland and British Lions fly-half Jonathan Sexton – settled into Devon earlier this week having seen a playing opportunity in France shudder to a halt due to contract problems.

Having returned home to his native Dublin from France, the Irish Under-20s starlet admits he jumped at the chance of joining the Aviva Premiership side once he heard of their interest in him.

“My agent told me there was an opportunity to come to Exeter on trial because Dean Mumm was injured and that there was a possible place available,” Sexton said. “We sent the video across, the coaches had a look and now they’ve offered me a chance until November, so we’ll see where it goes from there.”

With rugby embedded into the Sexton family name, including Uncle Willie a former Ireland international, the newcomer hopes he can showcase his fledgling talents to the wider world during his stay in the Westcountry.

He added: “My uncle [Willie] played for Ireland, my dad played the game as well and growing up I would watch my brother play, so I guess it was obvious I’d follow and it all kind of just happened for me.

“I had a great school in St Mary’s College and then I went to Leinster and got involved in the Ireland set-up, so it was all good. After Ireland Under-20s I was supposed to go to London Irish Academy on a three-year deal, but that fell through and then I went to France for a year and really enjoyed it.

“I was supposed to go back again this year, but then I had a problem with my contract so I ended up back home and then the trial with Exeter came up.”

Poised to experience English rugby for the first time, Sexton says the challenge awaiting is one that he is certainly relishing and that his older sibling gave him a creditable endorsement of Exeter’s qualities having faced them previously in the Heineken Cup with Leinster.

Sexton continued: “I’m looking forward to it, my brother said the coaches here are very good and that there are no superstars within the squad. Already you can see the club is all about hard work and that’s what I aim to do and hopefully get a chance to play.

“I’ve watched the Chiefs over the last few years and seen how they have improved each year. As I said, you can see the squad is very close and very much together. And one thing I noticed from watching Exeter, especially in the Heineken Cup against the likes of Toulon and Leinster, the two previous champions, the spirit they showed was unbelievable.

“Just a couple of years ago they very nearly beat Leinster at the RDS and then they pushed Toulon as well last season, so the club is certainly moving in the right direction and looking to do well.”

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