Jack Nowell capped his return to action with a try as he staked a claim for a place in Eddie Jones’ England squad for the Guinness Six Nations.
Nowell has not played since the Autumn Internationals, but showed no ill-effects from his hamstring problem in Exeter’s crucial European clash with Castres.
The 25-year-old, playing at full-back, was a threat from the off, weaving his way through the visiting defence for the first try after barely two minutes.
He continued to be a menace every time he touched the ball, racking up 138 metres with ball in hand and beating eight defenders on his way to the man of the match award.
And after biding his time on the sidelines, Nowell admitted it was a relief to be back on the park as he tries to earn a spot in Jones’ squad, which will be announced on Thursday.
He said: “I’ve been desperate since I came back from the Autumn to play for the club. I’m so happy to be back and playing with the boys again. We dug deep to set ourselves up for next week.”
The win keeps Exeter in contention for the knockout stages ahead of a trip to Munster next weekend.
And Nowell was joined by England teammate Henry Slade on the scoresheet, with the centre crossing midway through the first half.