Mills out to emulate Chiefs

  • Last Updated: September 1 2012, 9:37 BST

London Welsh skipper Jon Mills has challenged his Exiles side to emulate Exeter and shake up the Aviva Premiership.

Jon Mills: Says Exeter made the template to follow

Welsh open their debut campaign in the English top flight with a clash against last season's beaten finalists Leicester at Kassam Stadium on Sunday.

The odds are heavily stacked against them given that their late admission into the Premiership robbed them of precious time to strengthen their squad.

But they can take heart from relative newcomers Exeter's performance over the last two seasons which has seen the Chiefs not only survive, but thrive.

"It's a fantastic start to the season," said Mills, the Exiles' captain and second row.

"We are looking to ruffle a few feathers this year and aren't there just to make up the numbers.

"Look at what Exeter have done since they have been promoted - that's the template we want to copy."

New arrivals Phil MacKenzie, Sonny Parker, Franck Montanella, Paulica Ion and Kirill Kulemin start against the Tigers.

However, Gavin Henson is unavailable after being ruled out for six weeks with a fractured cheekbone.

Former Ireland full-back Geordan Murphy leads Leicester, beginning his 16th season as a Tiger.