Jack Maunder: Exeter's teenage scrum-half set to make debut against Clermont

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Jack Maunder
Jack Maunder has played just nine games in National One and National Two South

Jack Maunder says he struggled to believe it was true after being named in Exeter's squad for the Champions Cup tie against Clermont Auvergne.

The 19-year-old scrum-half is set to make his debut from the bench against one of the biggest clubs in rugby, having come through the club's academy.

"When you see your name you check it about four or five times," he said.

"Before I told my family I kept checking and I almost forgot what my name was," he joked with BBC Sport.

Exeter have rested regular number nine Will Chudley, with Maunder providing back-up to Dave Lewis as the Chiefs look to repeat their win over the two-time European runners-up at the same stage of the competition last season

It has been a meteoric rise by the England youth international, who is currently dual-registered with National One side Plymouth Albion and only played his first game of men's rugby with National Two South club Redruth last November.

Jack Maunder
Maunder was named Man of the Match when he made his debut for Redruth in November last year

"In the past I've seen some very important players here have their first opportunities in big European cup games, and I think if you're going to make a debut Clermont at home is as good as it can be," head coach Rob Baxter told BBC Sport.

Maunder's name is not a new one to Exeter fans - his father Andy was also a scrum-half when the club played at the old County Ground, making 149 appearances as well as captaining the side.

But Maunder Sr will not be able to see his son's debut in the flesh - he and his wife are visiting their daughter in the United States, meaning Jack's grandparents, who are season ticket-holders at Sandy Park, will have to tell them all about it.

"My Dad's furious, but hopefully as they're eight hours behind by the time the game's played it'll be up on the internet," says the Exeter-born half-back.

"I can only hope to do as much as my Dad did for the club. It's something I've been thinking about this week. It's going to be a big moment and hopefully I'm just going to try and enjoy it.

"Clermont are such a good side, they finished top of the Top 14 last season, so how cool will it be to win on your debut against Clermont

"These opportunities don't come around very often so I'm going to try and take it as best I can."