Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter believes new signing Niko Matawalu can add some real ‘X-Factor’ to his backline after he today agreed a deal until the end of the season.
The Fijian international will head to Sandy Park from Aviva Premiership rivals Bath Rugby and will join up with his new team-mates once the current autumn internationals are concluded.
Equally at home either on the wing or at scrum-half, Baxter believes the 27-year-old is a great addition to the Chiefs make-up and is excited at what he can bring to the club moving forward.
“Initially Niko’s joining until the end of the season,” said Baxter. “Initially we want to have a good look at him and then we’ll see if there is an opportunity beyond that.
“As a club we’re really looking forward to bringing him here. We had a good look at him previously when he first decided to move on from Glasgow to Bath, but now the opportunity has arisen for us to sign him and it’s come at the right time for us.
We’re not expecting him to be 100 per cent straight away as he has had a relatively lengthy injury, but he’s fully fit now, he’s ready to play, and we’re hoping he will get some good game time during these autumn internationals to help get him right up to speed.”
Saracens beat Exeter Chiefs to win the Premiership final and become the first English side to complete a domestic and European double since 2004.
Exeter, in their first play-off final, were blown away by a dominant first half from Sarries, who led 23 / 6 through Duncan Taylor and Chris Wyles scores.
Jack Yeandle and Jack Nowell crossed after the break as a rejuvenated Chiefs reduced the deficit to 3 points.
But Alex Goode’s late try secured the title for the defending champions.
Victory also means Mark McCall’s side, who won the European Champions Cup 2 weeks ago, become the first English club since Wasps 12 years ago to win the top-flight and European titles in the same season.
Saracens, Northampton, Exeter, Wasps and Leicester have joined 3 French teams in the European Rugby Champions Cup last 8.
Premiership title holders Sarries will host Saints, and Wasps will welcome Exeter to the Ricoh Arena.
Leicester face Stade Francais at home, having already played them twice in the pool stages, and Racing 92 will play reigning European champions Toulon.
It is the 1st time there is no Pro12 representation in the last 8 of the competition.
Sarries, Leicester and Racing 92 guaranteed themselves a home tie in the quarterfinals last weekend, while Wasps joined them after winning Pool 5 on Saturday, with 3-time defending champions and Toulon joining them as one of the best runners-up.
Stade Francais were confirmed as 1 of the 3 best runners-up after they beat the Tigers with a bonus point on Sunday, but the other 2 places went down to the wire.
Northampton’s win over Scarlets on Saturday was enough to see them through as runners-up in Pool 3, and Exeter came through as winners of Pool 2 on points difference after beating Ospreys.
Exeter Chiefs (13) 19 / 6 (3) Leicester Tigers (Final Score)
The Exeter Chiefs and Leicester Tigers did battle in the Aviva Premiership at
Sandy Park at 19:30 SA Time (17:30 UK Time & GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.
The Waratahs have confirmed the signing of lock Dean Mumm, who will return to the club after 3 years with English Premiership side the Exeter Chiefs.
Mumm, who earned 95 New South Wales caps (including 83 at Super Rugby level), during his time with the Waratahs from 2004 – 2012, has signed a 1-year contract and will return to play in the 2016 Super Rugby season.
Waratahs Rugby CEO Greg Harris said he was extremely pleased to secure the signature of Mumm.
With the new English domestic season kicking off on Friday, we take a look at the prospects of each of the 12 clubs competing for the Premiership title. Let’s get started.
The pioneers of modern English rugby, Saracens have established themselves as one of Europe’s leading teams over the last few years.
Making three Premiership Finals in the last five years along with contesting Europe’s showpiece last season underlines their rise to the top of the game. Unafraid to experiment off the field, 2013/2014 saw Saracens revolutionise their play on it by throwing off the shackles and producing attacking rugby that was hard to resist. More of the same please.
English club Exeter Chiefs have signed Lions fullback Chrysander Botha ahead of the new Premiership season.
According to Exeter’s official website, the 26-year-old Namibian international touched down at Sandy Park on Wednesday and will join up with his new team-mates next week.
Botha has been tracked by the Chiefs coaching team for some time and assistant coach Ali Hepher believes his arrival will give the Devon club another attacking weapon in their arsenal.
Sale Sharks captain Dave Seymour insists the prospect of qualifying for the European Champions Cup drove them to a 55-12 victory over Exeter Chiefs, and not the opportunity to impress England coach Andy Farrell.
Exeter welcome new father Ben Moon back to the front row for the LV= Cup final, while Don Armand will be on the bench. Backs Jason Shoemark and Fetu’u Vainikolo also come into the starting Chiefs side, replacing the injured Ian Whitten (calf) and Tom James (knee).
Northampton, who have used more than 40 different players en route to the final, make eight changes to their XV. There are starts for James Wilson, Jamie Elliott and Stephen Myler as well as Alex Waller and Salesi Ma’afu.
Wallabies lock Dean Mumm has admitted it was an “easy decision” to extend his stay with Exeter Chiefs for a further two years.
Signed from the Waratahs ahead of the 2011/12 season, the vastly experienced Australian international has proven an instant hit at Sandy Park, both on and off the field.
Toulon (15) 32 / 20 (10) Exeter (Final score)
Toulon and Exeter Chiefs did battle in the Heineken Cup at
Stade Felix Mayol, at 15:35 SA Time (14:35 France Time, 13:35 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 8, SH8 on TV in SA.
The first round of Heineken Cup 2013/14 matches kick off this weekend in what may be the very last tournament with the European premier club rugby competition going through a much publicised meltdown.
Exeter Chiefs might have just got one over local rivals Gloucester Rugby in their own back yard, but head coach Rob Baxter insists there is plenty more to come from his side this Aviva Premiership season.
Aussie flank Ben White says Exeter Chiefs cannot wait to get stuck into Leicester Tigers in their latest Premiership encounter this Sunday.
Buoyed by back-to-back league wins over London Wasps and London Irish, the Chiefs are now busy preparing themselves for the visit of the defending champions to Sandy Park.
Leicester Tigers may have started the new Premiership season with a bonus-point victory but flank Julian Salvi insists the reigning champions are gunning for an even more ruthless performance next time out.
Stormers flank Don Armand has become the latest player to leave the Cape side after he confirmed a move to English Premiership club Exeter Chiefs.
As pointed out by Scrumdown, one of our knowledgeable contributors, yesterday Saracens played their first Premiership game at their new home ground, the Allianz Park, in Barnet Copthall. The match was played on an artificial surface and although it is the second game that has been played there it was the first one that they played in front of ten thousand people which is a capacity crowd for the stadium.
Table-topping Harlequins will look to return to winning ways when they welcome Worcester Warriors to Twickenham Stoop in the opening Round 10 fixture on Friday.
After two emphatic European victories Worcestor Warriors will be keen to give their home crowd something to cheer about in the Premiership against Sale Sharks on Friday.
Champions Harlequins will be out to extend their unbeaten start to the English Premiership when they take on Sale Sharks this weekend. Quins currently head the standings after two rounds, but with five teams still unbeaten there is plenty of pressure to continue their winning ways.
Former Blue Bulls, and now Northampton Saints, number eight Gerrit-Jan van Velze has been handed a four weeks ban for a ‘tip tackle’ having been cited after Northampton’s game against Exeter Chiefs last weekend.
The second round of Aviva Premiership games take places this weekend and while it may only be Round Two, Saracens have laid down an early marker in the 2012/13 Premiership season.
Various pre-season friendly matches have taken place this weekend, ahead of the start of the Aviva Premiership and RaboDirect Pro12 competitions. Furthemore, there has been news of player injuries as well as some player transfer news.
This is the third article in our series looking at players from the northern hemisphere who may be lesser known on the international stage. Previously we looked at two wingers, Harry Robinson and Tim Visser, who at that time had yet to start an official test for their country.
We now feature a forward, England flanker Tom Johnson. The other difference is that by now Johnson has actually played two tests for England, against South Africa.