Gareth Steenson: Exeter Chiefs fly-half's perseverance praised by boss Rob Baxter
Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter has praised the perseverance of fly-half Gareth Steenson, the winner of this season's Premiership golden boot award.
The 32-year-old fly-half is one of the club's longest-serving players and holds Exeter's league points record.
"At times he has had a battle on his hands," Baxter told BBC Radio Devon.
"He's used them to mature both as a player and as a person, and he's used them as motivating things for himself to keep improving and keep driving."
Steenson, who was capped at youth level by Ireland but is yet to play for the senior side, played a key role in getting Exeter promoted from the Championship in 2010.
On Saturday, six years on, he will line up at Sandy Park in the club's first Premiership semi-final against Wasps.
"He's knuckled down, he's worked extremely hard, and he's taken the blows of being in and out of the team very well," added Baxter.
"I remember talking to Gareth a few times when I dropped him and it wasn't nice for me or him, but one thing I did try to encourage was to use it in as positive a fashion as possible.
"I think he's really bought into that and it's become a real driver for him to become the player he is."