Sestaret likes Chiefs blend for London Welsh trip
He may only be 30, but Nic Sestaret will feel like an elder statesman when he lines up for Exeter Chiefs in their LV= Cup clash at London Welsh on Sunday.
The Frenchman has not been involved for the first team yet this season but, as coach Rob Baxter rests many of his more established men following a gruelling run of Premiership and Heineken Cup fixtures, Sestaret is likely to be involved at the Kassam Stadium, offering his vast experience to what is likely to be a youthful Exeter side.
"You want to make me feel old," the former Plymouth Albion wing said, "but yes, it is a good mix of young and old, but I think we can use this to our advantage.
"It's very good because the younger players are full of energy and fresh and at the same time, the older guys have the experience and good communication which can help us on Sunday.
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"There are so many young players here that are talented and it's great to play with them. They are the future and it's a good thing for the club.
"For me, it has been a long time now since I played for the first team and it is a good opportunity to go out and show what we can do."
Sestaret's previous involvement for the Chiefs came in pre-season against the Cornish Pirates, but he knows that good performances for the first team often result in a player holding on to the shirt when League or Heineken Cup combat re-starts.
"I have done everything I have needed to be ready for the game. Now it is a case of resting and getting ready for Sunday," he said.
"It's about how you can play on the pitch and here, you know that if you play well, you will get your chance in the first team."
Last season, the Chiefs finished second in Pool Four to Northampton Saints after group matches against Bath, Saracens, London Wasps and Ospreys. The Saints were eventually beaten finalists, losing to Leicester Tigers 26-14 in the final, but, while the competition is largely used by teams to blood youngsters and field fringe players, the winners are rewarded with a place in the Heineken Cup.
Although there is still plenty of rugby to be played between now and the end of the season, that could represent Exeter's best chance of qualifying for Europe's most prestigious competition.
"It is very difficult to get a ticket for the Heineken Cup and we will try in the Premiership, but, at the same time, if you can get it from the LV= Cup, it will be a bonus," Sestaret added.
"We know what to expect against London Welsh, it is very hard to play against their team because their defence is very hard with a big line speed, and as you have seen in the league they have done very well from the start of the season.
"They are very hard on the breakdown and competitive and force the opposition into making mistakes. Their defence is very hard, but we have done our homework and hopefully it will work."