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Exeter Chiefs’ highly respected Director of Rugby, Rob Baxter, has praised the input that coaches at the Cornish Pirates have played in helping to develop their young prop, Patrick Schickerling.
The Namibian tight-head has been impressing many in recent weeks, after been brought back from the Championship club to help bolster front-row options at the Chiefs.
Thrust into the fray by Baxter for fixtures in both the Gallagher Premiership and the Heineken Champions Cup, the 23-year-old has made the most of his opportunities, even scoring two tries in the process against London Irish and Wasps.
Quizzed on the form of the prop at his weekly media briefing, Baxter was quick to highlight the efforts of Schickerling, as well as that of the Pirates, where he has spent last season and part of this season on dual-registered terms.
“Pat has actually been in our Academy for a number of seasons, so he’s not really a new signing, even if it does seem like that when a guy drops into the first team,” said Baxter.
“I think the breakthrough has come from how well he has been playing for the Cornish Pirates. He has been there a little while and, as far as I’m concerned, he has been performing very well. For that, I have to congratulate Alan Paver and the coaches down there for the part they have played in his development.
“They have been fantastic for him and just watching his games, he has just got better and better. It would be remiss of me to say that when we actually pulled him back, he was probably the form tight-head in the Championship.
“Therefore, when you do that, you have a confidence they will perform at Premiership level and that’s what we have seen from Pat recently. You can see he is really enjoying and thriving being in that environment. For him, it’s a huge opportunity to train and play as a frontline forward. That’s massive for a player like him, just because you learn about yourself, you learn about your team-mates and you get good coaching.
“All of that together really adds up and is invaluable in helping a young player like him to really move forward within the game.”