Chiefs step into Lions' den for talent

Thu, 31 Jul 2014 09:33
Large chrysander botha lions

Exeter Chiefs are ready to unleash Namibian speedster Chrysander Botha into the Premiership, after the fullback became the club's latest signing.

Exeter Chiefs are ready to unleash Namibian speedster Chrysander Botha into the Premiership, after the fullback became the club's eighth signing of the off-season.

The Super Rugby star - who joins from the Lions in South Africa - touched down at Sandy Park on Wednesday and will join up with his new teammates next week ahead of the new 2014/15 season.

Botha has been tracked by the Chiefs coaching team for some time and assistant coach Ali Hepher believes the arrival of the 26-year-old will give the Devon club yet another attacking weapon in their arsenal as the countdown to the new campaign looms ever larger on the horizon.

Indeed, Hepher believes Botha, who was part of Namibia's squad for the last World Cup in New Zealand in 2011, will help bolster Exeter's back three options, particularly in the wake of Luke Arscott's departure to Bath during the close season.

"He's a slightly different player to what we've got already. There's hopefully a little more pace and he's an exciting runner on the ball. He's also tough defensively, which is always important at fullback.

"It's a slot we have been looking to fill for a little while now, we've been looking for the right person but we weren't desperate because  we've got other players who are more than capable of playing in that position. Hopefully he will add a bit more quality there for us."

Certainly Botha will have plenty of competition for the No.15 jersey with the likes of Phil Dollman, Jack Nowell and Jack Arnott more than capable of filling the position if called upon.

However, Botha's earlier than expected arrival means that the African ace now has time to not only settle into his new surroundings, but will be able to feature in the club's three upcoming pre-season friendlies against Cardiff Blues, Ulster and Worcester Warriors.

And Hepher believes having the player on board this early in pre-season means he will be able to quickly get himself up to speed with the Chiefs' game plan over the next fortnight or so.

"With the Super Rugby season finishing, we wanted to get him in as early as possible," added Hepher. "It's worked at this stage and it will be good to get him into training next week and then we can really have a good look at him within our system and see how he goes.

"Obviously we have got other options for the position, so it's meant we have been able to take our time to find the best fit that was out there and hopefully Chrysander is that."

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 30 September 2016
Golden Lions v Sharks 15h00 Johannesburg
EP Kings v Pumas 16h00 Nelspruit
Western Province v Boland 17h10 Cape Town
Dragons v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Rodney Parade
Connacht v Edinburgh 18h35 Sportsground
Bristol v Saracens 18h45 Ashton Gate
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 01 October 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Griquas 12h00 Bloemfontein
Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 13h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Munster v Zebre 16h00 Thomond Park
Argentina v New Zealand 17h10 Ascoli Piceno
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
Sun, 02 October 2016
Wasps v Harlequins 13h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Sixways
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 7 7 0 0 34
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Sharks 7 5 0 2 25
Western Province 7 4 0 3 23
Golden Lions 7 4 0 3 22
Griquas 7 4 0 3 20
Boland 7 2 0 5 9
Pumas 7 0 0 7 5
EP Kings 7 0 0 7 1