'Dream come true': Sharks lock completes Exeter Chiefs deal
TRANSFER NEWS: Exeter Chiefs newcomer Ruben van Heerden revealed he cannot wait to get stuck into life at Sandy Park after sealing his move from South African outfit, the Sharks.
The 24-year-old forward is the latest addition brought in by Director of Rugby, Rob Baxter, who is looking to bolster his options up front following the departures of fellow locks Jonny Hill, Sean Lonsdale and Sam Skinner.
The tall Van Heerden will offer a sizeable presence to the Chiefs pack. Having started his career with the Bulls back in 2013, the Alberton-born ace moved to the Sharks in 2018, where he has since established himself as a key performer for the club.
His move to Devon, however, is one that really excites him and he hopes to make the most of tackling English and European rugby’s elite teams.
“I’m so excited about coming to the Chiefs,” said van Heerden.
“I’ve followed them for some time and you can see they are such a good team, packed full of quality players and who have a game to really challenge the opposition.
“For me, it’s like a dream come true to join a club like this. The Premiership is right up there as one of the best, if not the best, competitions there are to play in. Every week is a challenge, the teams are so strong, so it’s going to be a great battle for myself.”
Having chatted in depth with Baxter, van Heerden admitted it was an easy decision to make his move.
“This is such a big opportunity for me,” added the former South African Under-20s international.
“Speaking with Rob and hearing about the club, I knew I wanted to join straight away. Watching the Chiefs, you can see how hard they work for one another. There are no show ponies in the team, they graft for one another every game and that’s what really appealed to me.
“As I said, moving to England is a different challenge for me, but it’s one I’m really excited about. I know a couple of the guys [Jacques Vermeulen and Jannes Kirsten] already, so I’m sure that will help me settle in. All I’ve heard, though, is positive and good things, so I can’t wait to get started.”