Chiefs snap up Bristol duo
Luke Arscott and James Phillips have become the latest players to leave Bristol after the duo agreed to join Exeter.
Last Updated: 25/06/10 3:21pm
Luke Arscott and James Phillips have become the latest players to leave Bristol after the duo agreed to join Guinness Premiership new-boys Exeter.
Bristol have been left counting the cost of their failure to return to the top-flight at the first attempt - with the playing squad asked to take a 50 per cent pay cut or find a new club in the aftermath of the play-off defeat to Exeter.
And following the departures of Luke Eves, Alex Crockett, Lee Robinson and coach John Brian, Arscott and Phillips have decided to move on.
Versatile forward Phillips, 22, has made 41 appearances for Bristol after graduating from the club's academy and impressed Exeter coach Rob Baxter this season.
"I watched a lot of James over the course of last season as I analysed a lot of Championship games," said Baxter.
"He was a very good ball carrier and I think there are areas where we can improve his game.
"He was upset at what happened to Bristol and that's only right, I don't want him to forget the impact Bristol have had on his rugby career, but he is now committed to Exeter and wants to play well for Exeter."
Arscott only agreed a new deal at Bristol in February and Baxter is delighted to have lured the talented 25-year-old full-back to Sandy Park.
"Luke's exactly the right age for us at 25," said Baxter. "It seems like he's been around for a long time but you have to remember that when he was at Exeter he was only 18.
"While he has Premiership experience he has still got a lot to give, that was important to us. There are still things he can improve.
"He is still very ambitious, very keen and desperate to be playing in the Premiership."