Kingsbridge Rugby Club coach and former junior player Stuart Townsend is on the bench for Exeter Chiefs for their clash with Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens tomorrow.

Townsend had a stellar season last year as the Chiefs became Premiership champions for the first time, playing a vital role in the energy-sapping final win over Wasps.

Exeter, who are eight points clear at the top of the Aviva Premiership and on a five-game winning streak, will be looking to end their nightmare run of results at the gardens which has seen them win just once there since being promoted.

They will be wary, however, of a wounded Saints team who face their first match since coach Jim Mallinder was relieved of his duties after a shocking run of results.