Baxter looks to brother Richie
EXETER CHIEFS head coach Rob Baxter will look to his brother Richie to face down the threat of Jamie Heaslip in the weekend’s Heineken Cup meeting. Richie is rated by his brother and coach as Exeter’s top contact player arriving to the RDS. While Rob Baxter is widely regarded as an astute head coach, his brother is one of the in-form players coming to Dublin
“Richie is one of these guys who is very under-rated in what he does for the team,” said coach Rob to the local Western Morning News. “He is normally our top contact guy, if you add up tackles, carries, clear-outs. If he doesn’t top it, he is normally second or third every week.
“Richie is one of these guys who completely glues the team together. I think he has been one of the form backrowers in the Premiership for the two or three years we have been there.”
Baxter is 34, having made his debut with the club in October 1997 as a teenager and while Joe Schmidt has not yet announced his backrow, captain Heaslip is one player, who is not on the injured list.
Meanwhile Irish Under-21 backrow Iain Henderson will remain at Ulster until June 2015 after signing his first full contract. The 20-year-old, who scored a try against Munster in his senior debut start in the PRO12, has been upgraded from a development contract after impressing in his recent performances.
A former pupil of Belfast Royal Academy, Henderson has represented Ulster and Ireland at underage levels and played in the previous two IRB Junior World Championships, as well as being one of the standout players in this summer’s tournament in South Africa.
“We are trying to build a team of home-grown players which is capable of competing with and beating the best teams in Europe, and Iain epitomises what we are trying to achieve,” said Ulster’s Director of Rugby David Humphreys.
“His performance against Cardiff a couple of weeks ago underlined his massive potential, but also showed that he is able to play at this level now. The exciting thing for us is that he will only get better.”