Aviva Premiership: Exeter Chiefs is a club on the rise, says Salvi
Australian forward hoping to make an impact at the Sandy Park outfit after agreeing a two-year deal
Julian Salvi believes that Exeter Chiefs is a club on the rise after sealing a two-year deal with the Devon club.
The 29-year-old Australian flanker will swap the East Midlands for the West Country in the summer after four seasons with Leicester Tigers and hopes he can help their their rise as a force in English and European rugby.
Exeter is a club on the rise and you can see from their results and performances this season, they are a formidable outfit within the Premiership and Europe.
Salvi has made 104 Aviva Premiership appearances for Bath Rugby and the Tigers since moving to England in 2010 from the Brumbies, establishing himself as one of the league’s best loose forwards.
He will join current team-mate Geoff Parling in making the move to Sandy Park, and link up again with former Tigers number eight Thomas Waldrom, who made the same move last summer and has enjoyed an outstanding first season, scoring 16 tries in 21 league matches.
“I’m really looking forward to the move as I see it as a new adventure and a nice move for me and my family,” Salvi said.
“Exeter is a club on the rise and you can see from their results and performances this season, they are a formidable outfit within the Premiership and Europe.
“What they have achieved since coming out of the Championship has been outstanding and each year they continue to improve.
“Over the years I’ve got to play the Chiefs a few times now and they’ve always been tough games, especially down at Sandy Park.
“I like the way they approach the game, they play a great, attacking brand of rugby, but they’ve also got a pretty solid defence as well.
“You only have to look at the number of points and the number of tries that they’ve scored to see there is a real creative flair within the side.”
The Canberra-born openside admits he spoke to Waldrom and other players before making the decision to relocate from the Midlands to one of English rugby’s emerging forces with Top 14 clubs also interested in his services when it became clear that he would not be extending his stay at Leicester.
You only have to look at what the club have achieved over the last five years, that doesn’t come without having a great work ethic and a really good culture.
The Chiefs, who won the LV=Cup last season and reached the final again this season, have made waves in the Premiership, challenging for a play-off spot while reaching the semi-finals of the European Challenge Cup, where they lost to eventual champions Gloucester.
And Salvi believes the future is bright for Rob Baxter’s team with Italian centre Michele Campagnaro and Scotland lock Ollie Atkins also set to join an impressive squad of international players and young English talent including Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Jack Arnott and Sam Hill.
He added: “I spoke to one or two of the boys down there, guys like Thomas Waldrom and Ben White who I’ve known for years, and also Pat Phibbs and Peter Kimlin also spoke highly of the place as well.
“Also having come down and spoken with Rob Baxter, taken a look around the place, you can see everything is in place for an exciting future.
“I know the strength of the squad they have, especially in the back-row, but I enjoy a challenge and can’t wait to get stuck into things.
“As a player looking in from the outside, you can see the Chiefs have a great culture.
“As I said, you only have to look at what the club have achieved over the last five years, that doesn’t come without having a great work ethic and a really good culture.
“I’m excited to be part of all that and help the club to improve even more.”