Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter has reiterated support for the Rugby Football Union’s decision to disallow overseas-based players to be selected for England.

Fullback Henry Arundell is among the leading examples of England stars unable to represent the country under the current ruling. He turned down the opportunity to play for Bath in England to instead represent Racing 92 in France. Toulouse’s Jack Willis and Stade Français’ Joe Marchant are other examples.

“How will we promote our competition as being at a very high level if you’re wide open to the best players playing outside the country? That will never help promote the Premiership,” said Baxter.

“Without promoting the Premiership I don’t think you’ll ever get a successful England side. The best way to keep young players in this country is by letting them know that staying in this country gives them the best opportunity to play international rugby.

“Because of the negativity surrounding the Premiership lately, it would be very easy to take the Premiership clubs lightly. Maybe that’s what happened.”

Exeter will meet Munster in the Champions Cup at Sandy Park on Sunday. Exeter will go into this round two fixture on the back of a 19-18 win over Toulon in round one. Local duo Harvey Skinner and Henry Slade starred in last week’s victory over Toulon.

“There’s not a first-team player in the Premiership who is not a good, determined professional rugby player and you’ve seen that in how competitive the games have been,” added Baxter.

“We should be talking positively about the Premiership and the results at the weekend bear that out. There should be more positivity around the Premiership than there is, but also we need to back that up.

“English teams will be competitive, our challenge going forward is how we maintain that. We’ll know the answer a little bit down the line, it’s a little early to tell after one round.”

La Rochelle are the reigning Champions Cup title holders and will meet the Stormers in Cape Town this week.