Vermeulen excited by Exeter's young stars

Jacques Vermeulen
Jacques Vermeulen (centre) has become one of the most experienced members of Exeter's forward pack [Rex Features]

Exeter flanker Jacques Vermeulen says he is excited about what the future holds for the club.

A young Chiefs side still have a chance of making the Premiership play-offs with three games to play.

The South African, 29, who has won European and English titles while at Sandy Park, says the potential at Exeter is huge.

"We don't know what it holds for us, but it's exciting times," he told BBC Sport.

Jacques Vermuelen
Jacques Vermuelen moved to Exeter in the summer of 2019 from then-Super Rugby side Sharks [Getty Images]

"I think next year this squad is going to grow so much from this year.

"But we've still got everything to play for this season and you always have to be at your best because you know everyone in the squad is pushing each other, so training is very competitive."

Players such as Ethan Roots, Immanuel Feyi-Waboso and Ross Vintcent have earned international call-ups for the first time this season, while the likes of Greg Fisilau, and Josh Hodge have also impressed and Dafydd Jenkins was named Wales captain, aged just 21, for the Six Nations.

"I can only see for the next three years there's big things waiting for the squad," added Vermeulen.

"It pushes you. It keeps me on my toes and also I can give them a lot of little tips.

"I've played a lot of games for this cub so I know what the club's all about, so it's always nice to give those boys tips.

"And I still learn every day. You always want to get better as a rugby player and everyone's a different kind of rugby player so you always learn something new off someone else.

"It's good playing with these boys because they also bring something new."

Exeter go to Gloucester on Sunday knowing that realistically they must win their final three games and hope sides above them slip up if they are to make the play-offs this season.

But Vermeulen says a top-four place is still the aim to avoid a third successive finish outside the play-offs for the first time since 2015.

"I think any team wants to be in the top four, but these boys are literally craving to be in that top four, we are craving a semi-final," he said.

"We said at the beginning of the season to just try and play good rugby, but now we are pushing for that top four and I think, come Sunday the whole squad will be ready and we will be pushing in that game.

"We want to walk off that field knowing we've given it our all."