First introduced to rugby as a six-year-old at his local club Kingsbridge, scrum half Stuart Townsend was educated at the local Primary and Community College before attending Ivybridge Community College, where he became part and parcel of the Exeter Chiefs Academy system.
Working closely alongside the likes of Rob Gibson and Ricky Pellow, Townsend made swift progress within the game, featuring for England at various age levels, including Under 20s, but also in the National Leagues with Taunton Titans and the RFU Championship with Cornish Pirates.
Getting game exposure within the Championship helped to take Townsend's game to a new level, all of which helped when he was recalled midway through the 2016/17 season to help answer an injury SOS at the club when fellow nines, Dave Lewis and Will Chudley, were both ruled out through injury.
After a number of appearances off the bench both in the Premiership and Europe, he capped his first topflight start with a try against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road. He would go on to finish the season as a Premiership champion, starting in the final at Twickenham as the Chiefs overcame Wasps in extra time – something which he describes as the highlight of his career so far.
Although injuries have curtailed Townsend's progress in recent years, he is now back to full fitness and determined to play his part as the Chiefs look to kick on this season in all competitions.