Jimmy Roots Joins the Family at Exeter Chiefs

jimmy r signing.jpg

Exeter Chiefs have recruited tighthead prop Jimmy Roots ahead of the 2024/25 season.

Roots is the younger brother of current Chief and England international Ethan, and he joins the Chiefs squad from RFU Championship side Ealing Trailfinders.

After two seasons with the second-tier champions, Jimmy is looking forward to the prospect of testing himself in a top-flight environment.

“Signing for Chiefs has been pretty daunting as well as exciting. It’s a challenge and a big step up, but it’s one that I’m excited for. Being back with my brother is really cool, but I’m looking to make the most of my opportunity and take it with both hands.

“Speaking to Rob and the other coaches, there is good aspirations here to build something special, and I think that’s shown in the team they’ve picked every week with a lot of young boys coming through. So, hopefully I can earn a game at a time then see where it takes me.”

The 24-year-old front rower was born and raised in New Zealand before moving to England to pursue his rugby career. The younger Roots’ sporting journey has so far included time spent with Blues U20s, East Coast Bay and North Harbour.

He was signed with North Harbour in the National Provincial Championship before joining Londoners, Ealing in 2021.

While older brother Ethan now has international caps for England, Jimmy has represented his country of birth, New Zealand, at U20s level.

Director of Rugby Rob Baxter is intrigued to see how the young front rower develops amongst the Chiefs squad with some experienced props under the leadership of scrum coach Ross McMillan and forwards coach Rob Hunter.

“We knew we were making a few changes in our front row department, so we’re always on the lookout for young players who we feel can develop and grow and that have their best years ahead of them.

“Obviously, getting to know Ethan, has been a bonus as we can see the impact that he has had. Jimmy came to the UK with a very good reputation in New Zealand having represented their U20s, so he’s a player that we’ve been keeping an eye on for a while.

“We’re pleased with the rugby he’s been playing and the potential he has displayed. We feel he’s a guy that can come in to be here for a period of time, where he can develop into a guy who drives the team forward.

“He’s very dynamic on the ball, he likes to run into people and hit them hard – so he’s got some really good attributes of what a modern front row forward can be. So, if we can work hard with him on his set piece and other elements of his game then he’s one of those guys we can see a real upside to.

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