Chiefs land highly-rated Tshiunza
By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs newcomer Christ Tshiunza says he’s ‘excited’ about the future after agreeing terms on a four-year academy deal with the Gallagher Premiership club.
The highly-rated, 17-year-old forward will join ahead of the new season, but will remain in education at Whitchurch High School in Cardiff for another year before making the more permanent move to Devon, where he aims to combine furthering his rugby career with that of studying at the University of Exeter.
Chiefs’ Director of Rugby Rob Baxter, together with other key members of the club’s coaching staff, have monitored the progress of Tshiunza closely in recent times and believe he has all the qualities to go a long way within the professional game.
Tshiunza has come through the rugby ranks in the Welsh capital playing for Cardiff Schools, the Blues' Under-16s and 18s, as well as Rhiwbina RFC, whilst he has also represented Wales at Under-18s level.
He said: “This has been a big decision for me to make, especially as I have played all my rugby here in Wales. However, I’m very excited about joining what is one of the best clubs in the country. Exeter have a proven record of bringing through young talent and developing them into top class players, so that was a key factor in my decision-making.”
And Baxter himself believes Tshiunza can bring a lot of qualities to his squad.
“We see Christ as a player with a huge amount of potential and a real hunger to do well within the game,” he said. “We’ve looked at him closely, we’ve chatted in detail with him, and we feel he’s a great fit for us.
“By us giving him a four-year academy contract, it means we will be able to work closely with him over a prolonged period of time and really help nurture and develop him as a player moving forward.
“At the same time, when he moves down here he will then be able to continue his studies at the University and build on the great work he has done at Whitchurch High School.”