FORMER Crediton RFC player, Jack Yeandle, has been named as Exeter Chiefs’ club captain for the 2015/16 season.
Rob Baxter revealed his choice on Wednesday after telling the players of his decision earlier that morning ahead of Saturday’s Westcountry Challenge Cup match at Bath.
It brings to an end a question which has been swirling around Sandy Park throughout the summer following Dean Mumm’s departure to Australia.
Hooker Yeandle (25), captained the side at the start of the 2014/15 campaign after Mumm was ruled out following shoulder surgery, and Baxter confirmed that his success during that spell – coupled with his club-first mentality – were vital factors in his final decision.
"Although Dean was officially club captain, Jack had an interim role at the start of last season while Dean was away injured," Baxter said.
"He carried it out on the pitch really well. He is a well-respected club and team man and has been an important part of what we have done with the side in the past three or four years.
"He is a local guy and he takes the whole emotional part of what we do as a team and a club very seriously. They are the first qualities we want to see.
"We had some very good other candidates – Gareth Steenson has captained the team very well throughout pre-season and at other times too – but we just felt that Jack has done it before and the attitude he shows in training on a regular basis, the way he prepares himself for games and the way he deals with different situations that crop up at a Premiership club prove he has a lot of qualities that make him the right man for the club."
The appointment marks an impressive rise through the ranks for Yeandle, who arrived at the club at the start of the 2012/13 season after joining from Championship side Doncaster Knights. He had previously worked his way up through his local team Crediton.
Yeandle made 24 appearances in all competitions last season, although he has spent much of the summer recovering from a back operation. He was also named as captain for the club’s second Westcountry Challenge Cup match against Bath.
Baxter admitted it was a rapid rise for the forward, but used the example of former skipper Mumm to illustrate how it was character rather than experience which mattered.
"It is not about how long you have been at the club, it is the emotional buy-in that you show and the qualities you show that are most important. As with Dean, that is what Jack has shown," continued Baxter.
"Dean was only at the club for a season when he was appointed as captain and nobody questioned that and Dean did a fantastic job."
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