Rob Baxter: Gareth Steenson still has important Exeter Chiefs role to play

Gareth Steenson
Gareth Steenson captained Exeter in May's Premiership final loss to Saracens last season

Exeter Chiefs boss Rob Baxter says veteran fly-half Gareth Steenson still has an important role to play in his side, despite being dropped for Sunday's season opener.

Steenson, 32, started every Premiership game for Exeter last term, but featured off the bench in the loss at Wasps.

Henry Slade started at fly-half with Ollie Devoto moving into midfield.

"I think the world of Steeno, he's been a very good player for us and is a great leader," Baxter told BBC Devon.

Steenson, 32, was the Premiership's top points scorer last season and has been at Sandy Park the summer of 2008.

He kicked the winning points as Exeter won promotion to the top flight in 2010 and has been a constant in Baxter's side.

"If we're going to be a successful team this year a large part of that will be down to Gareth Steenson, whether that's being on the bench, whether that's starting or whether that's being part of everything we do," added Baxter.

"He's very aware of that and I'm very aware of that and I think for this game we were nearly there."