Exeter Chiefs add scrum-half to their squad

New recruit James Honeyben is hoping he can prove his worth to Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter after agreeing to join the Aviva Premiership club on a short-term loan deal from National League One side Blackheath.

Injuries to summer signings Garrick Cowley and Junior Poluleuligaga meant Baxter was left short of options at scrum-half ahead of Saturday’s league trip to Leicester Tigers, so he moved swiftly earlier this week to recruit the services of former London Wasps player Honeyben.

Having received the summons from Baxter, the 24-year-old dashed down from his home in the capital to Sandy Park to put pen to paper on Thursday afternoon and could now feature in the match-day squad for this weekend’s televised encounter at Welford Road.

“It was a bit short notice, but it’s a real opportunity for me, which I hope I can take,” said Honeyben. “I’m just planning on getting my head down, working hard, and if and when I get the opportunity, whether it is first team or in the A League, I’ve just got to try and take it.”

Having progressed through the Academy system at Wasps, Honeyben spent six years with the Premiership club making his debut for the first team debut against Sale Sharks in February 2006.

Although injuries somewhat blighted part of his time at the London club, he has since enjoyed loan spells with both Henley Hawks and Blackheath in recent seasons.

However, the chance of tackling defending Premiership champions Leicester Tigers on Saturday is not one which is likely to trouble the talented number nine too much.

“I know I’m being thrown in at the deep end, but it’s what you do it for,” he added. “I spent six years at Wasps and I’ve played at Welford Road a few times. It’s not going to be a new experience; it’s just something I am looking forward to.”

And with Baxter having only made contact earlier this week, Honeyben insisted there was only one answer he was going to give once he knew of Exeter’s interest.

“It was an easy decision to make,” he said. “As the soon as the call came in, there was only one answer I was going to give.

“I knew quite a lot about Exeter, I knew the coaches as well, so nothing is really new to me. I’ve just talked to the coaches now and we’ve been through the patterns and various moves. Now, though, it’s just a case of getting out on the training field and practising them.”


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