Chiefs go off-road with HITZ kids

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Exeter Chiefs and England stars Henry Slade, Sam Simmonds, Matt Kvesic and Jack Nowell pose at the Land Rover Experience near Honiton

By Mark Stevens

Exeter Chiefs and England stars Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Sam Simmonds and Matt Kvesic took a break from preparing for today's Aviva Premiership semi-final as they got to grips with some off-road driving at the Land Rover Experience Centre at Honiton.

Joined by Jacob Watkiss and Travis Wills from the Exeter Chiefs HITZ programme, the quartet got to negotiate the difficult Devon terrain in the all near Discovery Sport.

Land Rover are a key sponsor of the hugely successful HITZ programme, which uses rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship to get young people not in education, training or employment (NEET) back into education, training, apprenticeships and employment.

Gareth Williams, HITZ Officer for the Exeter Chiefs said: "Both Travis and Jacob have enjoyed being part of the HITZ programme, but this experience has broken down barriers with the players and has inspired these two to become fans of the Chiefs.

"Three days after the Land Rover Experience, Travis played his first 80 minutes of rugby for our local club Topsham. Spending those few hours with the players had inspired and motivated him to give playing a go.

"Equally, Jacob's experience of meeting the players has inspired him to take an interest in the Chiefs and he wants to see how the players he met perform at Sandy Park. They were both extremely excited about what the vehicles were capable of and would one day like to go back and experience driving the vehicles."

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