Gibson: Blooding kids didn't devalue league
The Rugby Paper|October 18, 2020
Gibson: Blooding kids didn't devalue league
EXETER Chiefs academy manager Rob Gibson has staunchly defended his club’s decision to blood 11 young homegrown players since the Premiership restarted in August.
NEALE HARVEY

While critics claim the integrity of English rugby’s top-flight has been damaged by the vast majority of clubs choosing to give youth a chance following the Covid-19 lockdown period, Gibson insists clubs like Chiefs and Worcester were right to cast an eye to the future in selection.

No fewer than 109 players across the 12 clubs have been handed debuts since the resumption, 67 of whom were homegrown.

Chiefs led the way with 17 debuts in all, 11 of whom came through the Devon side’s extensive player pathway, including loan clubs and colleges.

Gibson told The Rugby Paper: “I don’t think what we did devalued the competition at all. Wasps and Saracens beat us comfortably, but we beat Northampton and a crack Bristol side with a young team and were within a whisker of beating a highly-motivated London Irish as well.

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October 18, 2020