Live updates

Exeter Chiefs rugby fixtures released

Exeter Chiefs will begin their 2016/17 Premiership campaign on Sunday, 4 September, against Wasps in a rematch of last season's victorious semi-final.

Exeter's Henry Slade during the Heineken Cup, Pool Two match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Credit: PA

Rob Baxter's team came within 80 agonising minutes of becoming English champions for the first time but had their hopes dashed by Saracens at the final in May.

And the Chiefs will go head to head with Saracens in the second round of fixtures, at Sandy Park on the the 11 September.

Supporters can look forward to extra West Country derbies following Bristol's promotion, as well as the usual mouth-watering meeting with Bath and Gloucester. Meetings with all three come before the end of October and Exeter finish the regular season at Kingsholm against Gloucester.

Standout fixtures:

  • 4 September Wasps v Exeter Chiefs
  • 11 September Exeter Chiefs v Saracens
  • 23 September Bristol v Exeter Chiefs
  • 8 October Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester
  • 30 October Exeter Chiefs v Bath
  • 31 December Bath v Exeter Chiefs
  • 8 April Exeter Chiefs v Bristol
  • 6 May Gloucester v Exeter Chiefs

Advertisement

Jack Nowell among trio to secure new deals with Chiefs

Three Exeter Chiefs players have all agreed new deals with the Aviva Premiership club.

Credit: Exeter Rugby Club/PInnacle Photo Agency

Fresh from helping England record a first-ever series win in Australia last month, Jack Nowell, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Henry Slade have signed on to new three-year contracts.

All three players have established themselves within English rugby, but also on the European and international stage.

When you look at all the things it needs for three players like that to sign for a club, it shows that you are ticking a lot of boxes.

First and foremost it shows that we look after them and they enjoy being here, which is vitally important, but it also shows that we can help them not only achieve the ambitions which they have achieved so far, but that they also feel in the future they will experience big things here, not just in the Premiership and in Europe, but also internationally.

– Rob Baxter, head coach

Bristol Rugby head coach leaves club

Bristol Rugby's First Team Coach has left he club after three seasons.

Sean Holley joined the team in 2013, and helped the squad to win the Championship title in May.

But, after what he called "three tough years" he announced professional rugby had taken its toll and he had decided to leave.

I’m delighted and proud to have played my part in helping Bristol reach their goal of getting back to the Aviva Premiership after a seven year absence.

However, it’s been a tough three years with some highs and lows and professional rugby takes its toll, especially on the family who have remained living in Wales.

I’d like to thank everyone involved with Bristol for some great memories and wish them all the best for the future but I now look forward to pursuing some new and exciting challenges.

– Sean Holley
Sean Holley joined the club in 2013 Credit: David Jones/PA

Bristol Rugby thanked Sean for his "significant contribution" to the environment at the Club but added with a tough Aviva Premiership campaign ahead they felt now was the right time to restructure their coaching department.

Sean leaves with our very best wishes and we wish him success in the next chapter of his career.

– Andy Robinson, Director of Rugby

'My nails are all bitten away!' Fans react to Bristol's dramatic promotion

Fans couldn't contain their excitement Credit: ITV West Country

Many Bristol Rugby fans will be nursing sore heads today as they celebrate their team's promotion.

A nail biting second half saw a flurry of tries and a very close score line, but Bristol came out triumphant in the end.

Our sports correspondent Matthias Kurth caught up with a few after the match:

Advertisement

Bristol Rugby secure promotion despite defeat on home turf

Bristol Rugby have won promotion and reached the Premiership after 7 years of trying.

They carried a 15 lead into this evening's Championship playoff final second leg against Doncaster at Ashton Gate.

Bristol Rugby win a line out during the GKIPA Championship final, second leg at Ashton Gate, Bristol. Credit: PA

A late first half try from Will Cliff extended that lead. A flurry of Doncaster tries after the break, saw the visitors win 32-34 on the night but it's a Bristol win by 17 points on aggregate.

Man of the match was Callum Sheedy.

Watch the winning moment:

Scrum half signs new contract with Plymouth Albion

Top scorer Matt Shepherd has become the fourth player from last season's squad to re-sign at Plymouth Albion.

Shepherd, who joined Albion last summer from the Cornish All Blacks, played in all 30 leagues games last season and finished with 188 points, a haul that included 13 tries.

The 26-year-old, who stands 5’ 9", took up the roles of scrum half, wing and full back.

Matt Shepherd with Albion official Nigel Sparrow Credit: Plymouth Albion

I’m pleased to sign a new contract and excited about pulling on an Albion shirt again.

A few of us from last season have signed new contracts and I hope we can keep the bulk of the squad together.

With the addition of some new faces we will have the ability to push on from last season. I know some of the other teams have recruited well but my aim is to get Albion promoted back to the Championship.

– Matt Shepherd

Shepherd is also a crucial member of the Cornwall team and on Sunday will be running out at Twickenham against Cheshire in the final of the County Championship.

Load more updates