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Rugby: Sean Lonsdale helps Exeter Chiefs to English Premiership win over Leicester Tigers

Rugby: Sean Lonsdale helps Exeter Chiefs to English Premiership win over Leicester Tigers

A former Rugby Academy star at Rydal Penrhos achieved another significant milestone after making an English Premiership appearance last weekend.

Sean Lonsdale, who spent five years at the school from 2011-2015, turned out for Exeter Chiefs in their top-flight clash against Leicester Tigers, coming on as a second-half substitute in their emphatic 40-6 triumph at Sandy Park.

Lonsdale is another hugely successful product of the school’s Rugby Academy programme, which is run in partnership with Principality Premiership side RGC 1404 and the Welsh Rugby Union.

Having trailed to two penalties from England international George Ford during the opening half-hour, Devon’s finest clicked into gear just before the break to claim converted scores through Olly Woodburn and Sam Simmonds.

After the break, the Tigers threatened briefly to counter those first-half scores, but once Luke Cowan-Dickie rumbled over for a third try there was no looking back for the Chiefs.

Replacement Henry Slade, flanker Matt Kvesic and centre Ian Whitten all added their names to the try-sheet with fly-half Gareth Steenson plundered five conversions out of six on a decent afternoon for the Dungannon-born marksman.

Lonsdale, who played starring role in RGC’s promotion to the Principality Premiership during the 2015/16 campaign, departed Parc Eirias to test his skills across the border despite a fierce attempt from both the Gogs and the Welsh Rugby Union to keep him in Wales.

He started last season on dual-registered terms with Championship side Cornish Pirates, but keen to ensure his development did not stall due to a lack of significant game time, the Chiefs coaches moved Lonsdale to Plymouth Albion, where he figured regularly for them in the National Leagues.

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