Rob Baxter ‘terrified’ of impact coronavirus will have on rugby as Exeter Chiefs prepare for Premiership final

Exeter rose to English’s rugby summit via the lower leagues, and they were promoted from the Championship 10 years ago, winning the Premiership in 2017 and the Heineken Champions Cup last weekend.

The 2019-20 Championship season was halted in March, with no start date yet set for the new campaign, while the community club game remains in cold storage.

Baxter added: “It would be nice to see something like you are seeing at lower levels of football where they can start having their supporters in, start to get their bars open, start to get that revenue going that they survive on.

“We are actually killing a level of sport that we don’t need to because we are not willing to move on in certain ways. I think there are so many more things we could do that are proactive and would help grass-roots get going.

“We haven’t got the Championship going, which is criminal, really. We’re not even helping them put anything in place to get their game up and running, and yet we’ve got other levels of sport playing in other areas.

“There are clubs down here throughout Devon and Cornwall that could be having local derbies every week with limited crowds. They can have money coming in.

“There is an awful lot we could be doing down here if people just almost open their eyes and accept there are different things we can be doing. It needs to happen pretty quickly.”

PA

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