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Richard Bolt's departure open the door for young players at Exmouth

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: February 19, 2014

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Exmouth head coach Jon Hill sees the departure of Richard Bolt to Plymouth Albion not as blow but an opportunity to see the youngster improve.

Bolt, who made a loan appearance for Championship side Albion against Cornish Pirates over Christmas, has gone to the Brickfields.

Plymouth head coach James Shanahan has been concerned about a lack of cover in the No. 9 slot all season.

Bolt, who has also been at Exeter Chiefs, Pirates, Harlequins and London Scottish, has experience at Albion’s level and goes with Hill’s blessing.

“We have loaned Richard to Plymouth Albion, likely to be for the remainder of this season as he has the opportunity to play Championship rugby,” said Hill

“He is in the England Counties squad for this Friday’s game against Ireland, so would have been unavailable to us anyway this weekend.

“We have Garry Hooper who has shared scrum-half duties with Bolty this year, and we will look to give opportunities to Lloyd Watkins between now and the end of the season.

“Lloyd is another product of the mini-junior section of the club and represents the future.”

This first chance for the youngster to impress, in Bolt’s absence, will be when Exmouth entertain Taunton Titans this Saturday.

The Cockles are well aware that the Somerset side will be gunning for them again.

Taunton piled up a 61-23 win over the Cockles back in September.

“Taunton can be exceptional on their day and will pose a huge threat,” said Hill.

“They are well coached by Tony Yapp, Chris Brown, and Keith Brooking, all of whom I have coached with in the past.

“In fact, I have coached the (Exeter) college rugby team with Chris for the last 13 years.

“There will be lots of familiarity amongst players and they have a range of our recent games on DVD via their DVD share arrangement with Hartpury College and Dings Crusaders. Chris has brought in a greater work ethic and level of passion and commitment to the Taunton team this year and this can be seen in their results.

“Keith’s attention to detail off the field has also brought about net gains in the club’s efficiency with his ‘techo-geek’ type qualities.

“Yappy has an analytical mind that is proving effective. I am sure they will back themselves up front against us, as they have a decent scrum and maul. The return of former Taunton player Chris Bentley will be key to us, as well as the likely return of George Savage and Ollie Pyne to what was a depleted forward pack against Canterbury.”

Hill added that Alex Brown and Ali Hill are likely to return to the back line having missed the Canterbury trip two weeks ago though injury.

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