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Page last updated at 16:02 GMT, Wednesday, 2 June 2010 17:02 UK

Exeter sign hookers Chris Whitehead and John Vickers

Jon Vickers
Vickers played four Premiership games for the Saints last term

Exeter Chiefs have strengthened their front-row by signing hookers Chris Whitehead and Jon Vickers.

Vickers, 20, moves to the newly promoted side from Northampton Saints, while 24-year-old Whitehead joins from London Wasps.

Whitehead spent much of last season on loan with London Welsh, and was a member of the Exiles side that beat Exeter 16-15 in the play-offs.

Vickers appeared in all three front-row positions whilst at the Saints.

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter said: "We will primarily be looking at Jon as a hooker, but he can scrummage strongly in all front row positions.

"He is in great physical shape and is desperate to prove he should be playing high level rugby on a regular basis.

"Jon came down to the club and we put him through his paces with some lineout throwing drills and his technique stood up well."

Chris has stood out as dynamic, aggressive hooker for several seasons now

Rob Baxter

Vickers made four first-team appearances for Northampton last season, and also spent a brief period on loan at Stourbridge in National One.

Whitehead, who has international honours for England at Under-19 level, made 12 starts for the Exiles last term.

Baxter said: "As forwards coach I spend a great deal of time analysing opposition packs of forwards and Chris has stood out as dynamic, aggressive hooker for several seasons now.

"Chris has a lot of Championship experience despite being only 24 but I believe he has the potential and time to improve beyond being a Championship player when he starts to work with our coaches and condition staff."

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see also
London Welsh 16-15 Exeter Chiefs
17 Apr 10 |  Rugby Union
Chiefs sign Bath fly-half Davis
01 Jun 10 |  English
Exeter sign ex-Bath wing Higgins
28 May 10 |  English
Chiefs boss applauds club effort
28 May 10 |  English
Steenson praises Chiefs' forwards
27 May 10 |  English
Bristol 10-29 Exeter
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