Kvesic set to become a Chief
Pictures: Exeter Rugby Club/Pinnacle Photo Agency/Getty Images
By Mark Stevens
Matt Kvesic says he is “excited” about what lies ahead after he this week agreed to join the Exeter Chiefs on a three-year deal.
The England international is Rob Baxter’s first capture ahead of next season and joins from Aviva Premiership rivals Gloucester.
A destructive force in English rugby’s top flight for a number of years, the 24-year-old’s arrival at Sandy Park will be seen as shrewd bit of business by Baxter, who has tracked the player for a number of years.
Having initially started his senior career at Worcester Warriors in 2009, Kvesic spent four years at Sixways before making the short trip down the M5 to sign for Gloucester ahead of the 2013/14 season.
Now, though, a fresh challenge awaits for him in Devon and the former Blundells schoolboy is relishing the opportunity that lies ahead.
“It’s a great move for me and one that I am very excited about,” said Kvesic. “Over the last few years the Chiefs have shown they are one of the top teams in the country. They reached the final last season and it looks like they’ll be in the top four again at least this season.
“Looking from the outside you can see they play a grand brand of rugby, they’ve got quality players right across the squad, and that the stadium and the facilities are first class.
“For me, I just felt it was the right time to have a new challenge in my career and I think moving down to the Chiefs will maybe help re-ignite a few areas of my game. “
As well as having played with a number of Exeter’s England contingent, both in the Elite and Saxons squads, Kvesic has also worked previously with Baxter on England’s tour of Argentina in 2013, plus with Ali Hepher in South Africa last summer and with Rob Hunter at Under-20s level.
“It’s good that I know a number of people at the club already,” he added. “Obviously I’ve talked to guys in the England set-up about the place and all of them have talked positively about the club and the whole environment down there.
“You can see in Exeter’s performances that not only do they have a great team ethos, but all of them are really hard working, they play the game to a very high standard, and that they seem to want to drive their standards up and up all the time.
“As a player those are the kind of things you look for, especially if you’re moving to a new club. As I said, this is going to be a new start for me and hopefully a move that will really help kick me on as a player.”
Although Kvesic will not move to Sandy Park until the summer, he has been quick to thanks Gloucester for all their efforts since he joined them.
“I can’t thank Gloucester enough for all that they have done for me,” he continued. “It’s a great rugby club with fantastic supporters and I will always be grateful for the opportunities they have given me.”