Haydn Thomas delighted at Rob Baxter's secondment to England
Haydn Thomas believes England can benefit from having Rob Baxter on board for the summer tour to Argentina.
By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter: @SkysportsTC
Last Updated: 28/03/13 12:16pm
Baxter will be part of Stuart Lancaster's backroom staff for the trip to South America after Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree were seconded to the British and Irish Lions set-up.
Baxter has worked wonders during his time at Chiefs - having guided them into the top-flight in 2010 and then secured Heineken Cup rugby.
And Thomas claims Baxter's promotion to the national team is well deserved.
"It is fantastic news for Rob," Thomas told Sky Sports. "He has been doing a brilliant job for us.
"He now has a chance to continue that in a new environment and pick up some new ideas, while England can hopefully benefit from what Rob has been doing day in, day out at Exeter."
Baxter is unlikely to be the only member of the Exeter set-up on the tour - and with a number of seasoned internationals set to be away with the Lions, some of the Chiefs squad could get their chances.
Sam Hill, Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie are among those that have caught the eye for the England Under-20s squad, while Tom Johnson is sure to be involved if he can prove his fitness.
Thomas, who trained with England ahead of last season's Barbarians game, has also been mentioned as possible for the tour; however the 30-year-old insists his focus is solely on the Chiefs.
"I haven't thought about it myself," he said. "The next four games for Exeter are my priority.
"Obviously it would be fantastic to be involved in the summer tour but I can't think about that. I can only look at the games for Exeter and helping us push for the top six."
With four games to play, the Chiefs are currently eighth, just five points behind sixth-placed Wasps.
And Thomas believes that this season's Premiership is much tighter than in previous seasons.
"The league as a whole is a lot more competitive while the Heineken Cup, as brilliant as it has been, has been a massive drain on the squad," said Thomas.
"I think points-wise we aren't a million miles away from where we were, we have perhaps just lack that consistency of results.
"There are two or three games we feel we should have won and if we had we would be here talking about top four rather than top six."
Haydn Thomas was speaking at a QBE Rugby Pro event with Kingsbridge Community College on behalf of QBE, Official Business Insurance Partner of Premiership Rugby. For exclusive rugby news, video and blogs please visit www.QBErugby.com