White seals Chiefs deal

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 11:53
Large nic white800

NEWS: Australia scrumhalf Nic White has put pen to paper on a two-year deal with Premiership side Exeter Chiefs.

The Australian international, who will join this summer from French Top 14 club Montpellier-Herault Rugby, has become the latest new addition brought to Sandy Park by head coach Rob Baxter.

Capped 22 times by the Wallabies, the 26-year-old scrumhalf made his Super Rugby debut with the Brumbies in 2011 and went on to feature for the Canberra-based club 67 times over the next four years, before in 2015 he made the switch to Europe and a new start in Montpellier.

The gifted number nine has since figured prominently for the French club in both the Top 14 and European Cup competitions, but will now head to Devon for his first crack of life in English rugby’s top tier.

"It’s a really exciting move for me and something we’ve been working on for a little while," said White. "Obviously, I’ve seen Exeter on TV and I really like their style of play, the way they attack games and the brand of rugby they are producing right now.

"When I knew of their interest I spoke to a few guys, people like Dean Mumm, Peter Kimlin and Ruaidhri Murphy, all of whom have played at the club, and they all gave glowing reviews," added White.

"I’ve also spoken to Lachie Turner and Mitch Lees about the club and again it was very positive and they said it’s a great set-up to be involved in, not just in terms of the rugby side of things, but off the field and the big emphasis they put on family and friends,"

White’s arrival will ensure the strong Aussie culture remains firmly in place within the Sandy Park dressing rooms, where as well as Turner and Lees, he will be joined by compatriots such as Ollie Atkins, Julian Salvi, Greg Holmes and Dave Dennis next season.

"It’ll be good to have a few guys from back home alongside me in the sheds,” said White. “But, I’m looking forward to linking up with the rest of the squad as well. As I said, it’s a great move for me and I’m looking forward to trying something new,"

Having tasted life in Super Rugby and the Top 14 previously, White says he expects the Premiership to offer up a different challenge again.

"Just looking at the games involving Exeter, you can see they are an incredibly fit side because their ball in play time is probably the highest in Europe right now," he continued.

"And that’s something that the guys I have spoken to have underlined as well. Clearly good things come to those who work hard and you can see everyone at the club is willing to do that,"

Although vastly experienced, both at club and international level, White acknowledges there is still more to come in terms of his own development, and believes his switch to the Chiefs will help to unearth new skills within his game.

"I’m only 26, so I’m nowhere near the finished article," said the Scone-born back. "I know I still have lots to learn – in all areas of my game – and from speaking to Rob [Baxter] he believes he and the other coaches at the club can help bring even more out in me, which is great news.

"As I said, for me and my wife [Melissa], it’s going to be a new chapter in our lives and we can’t wait to get started,"

Meanwhile James Freeman has also joined Chiefs on a two year deal. The 26-year-old forward will head to Sandy Park from Championship side Jersey Reds determined to prove Rob Baxter's eye for unearthing emerging talent from English rugby's second tier remains as sharp as ever.

Freeman, who becomes Baxter's fifth new face for the 2017/18 season, admits the path trod by the aforementioned is something he is keen to follow - and says the Chiefs have a proven track record when it comes to giving players like himself their big opportunity.

"I'm really excited about the move and becoming part of the Chiefs set-up," said the Solihull-born player. "I've been a massive admirer of what Rob and the club have done since they got into the Premiership - and now I've got the chance to be part of things, I know it's a big opportunity for me,"

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Blues 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
Fri, 05 May 2017
Hurricanes v Stormers 07h35 Westpac Stadium
Cheetahs v Highlanders 17h00 Bloemfontein
Sat, 06 May 2017
Zebre v Treviso 22h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ulster v Leinster 22h00 Kingspan Stadium
Scarlets v Ospreys 22h00 Parc y Scarlets
Munster v Connacht 22h00 Thomond Park
Northampton Saints v Harlequins 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Bristol v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Ashton Gate
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Wasps v Saracens 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Gloucester v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Kingsholm
Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh 22h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Dragons v Cardiff Blues 22h00 Rodney Parade
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 21 16 1 4 79
Exeter Chiefs 20 13 3 4 74
Saracens 20 15 1 4 72
Leicester Tigers 20 12 0 8 57
Bath 20 11 0 9 53
Harlequins 21 11 0 10 51
Northampton Saints 20 9 0 11 48
Gloucester 20 7 2 11 46
Newcastle Falcons 21 9 0 12 44
Sale Sharks 20 6 1 13 36
Worcester Warriors 21 5 2 14 32
Bristol 20 3 0 17 19