Ben Moon and Neil Clark set for their first Premiership starts for Exeter Chiefs against Saints
Ben Moon and Neil Clark make their first Aviva Premiership starts of the season in the front row for Exeter Chiefs today.
The opportunity for both men could hardly come at a better time, with Chiefs hosting Northampton Saints at Sandy Park this afternoon and Heineken Cup clashes with Clermont Auvergne and Leinster to come next week and beyond.
Moon's chance comes after fellow prop Brett Sturgess broke his arm in last weekend's draw with Bath, while injuries to Chris Whitehead and Simon Alcott have allowed Clark to reassert his claims for a first-team spot at hooker.
Moon says it will not necessarily be an easy chance to take against Saints. "Hopefully, I can get a good run-out this weekend and play well," he said.
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"It is unfortunate for Brett. That is the second time he has broken an arm now, but it is an opportunity for someone else to get in there and try and play well for the club.
"Any Northampton side you play against are always physical. They will bring a big full pack but we have prepared well this week and hopefully we will be able to come up and meet that.
"I haven't had a start in the Premiership yet and it will be a good way to get the first against a side like Northampton."
A first start in the Premiership this term means just as much to Clark, who missed the early part of the season with a shoulder injury.
He said: "I have been waiting for an opportunity for some time, but the guys have been going well in my position.
"It was very frustrating being out with my shoulder injury earlier in the season but I would never use that as an excuse.
"Chris and Simon have come in and played really well. Chris will be out for a while now and Simon may have picked up a little knock so that gives me an opportunity.
"I'm not going to stand here and say I should be first choice. We have got four or five very good hookers at this club and any one of them could play."
Both players are involved in contract talks with the club and hope to have news soon.
Moon said: "I've been here a few seasons now and I'm in negotiations for a new contract. Hopefully, we can get that on the move and I can commit my future to the club."
Moon also hopes the coming weeks allow him to feature in the Heineken Cup again. He conceded a late penalty against Leinster in October that allowed the reigning champions to take win 9-6 in Dublin.
"I felt pretty gutted about what happened in those last few minutes against Leinster, there will be a little bit of wanting to make right what I did wrong," he said.