Rusi Tuima Commits to Chiefs with New Contract

webside article-2.jpg

Exeter Chiefs second row Rusi Tuima has committed his future to the club, signing a contract extension to 2026.

The flamboyant forward transitioned from back row to second row at the outset of the 2023/24 season and has hit his stride in his new position.

Having emerged through the Sandy Park ranks, the 23-year-old who regularly features in the Gallagher Premiership and Investec Champions Cup is delighted to continue giving his all to the Chiefs shirt.

“This season has made me want to stay all the more, because of the boys here. It’s an exciting group we’ve got and the things we’ve accomplished have been amazing, and I’ve loved every second of learning and growing alongside these boys.

“I’ve grown up in the Chiefs system, so I’ve been here since I was 13. To do it all with some of my best mates, and boys I’ve grown up with like Lewis Pearson and Richard Capstick, has meant it’s been a hell of a ride so far, so I’m looking forward to getting stuck in for the seasons to come.

“From Rob Hunter having the conversation with me about moving into the second row in pre-season, I think he’s made me realise my strengths in the game and what I can do to get better. I’ve started that journey here and I want to continue it here to be the best player I can be here at Chiefs.”

Tuima has bid his team in the Chiefs set up before grasping his opportunity with both hands this season. Previously, he spent time on loan to Plymouth Albion and friendly appearances with Exeter Braves gave the Fijian-born forward an opening insight to senior rugby.

It was Chiefs forwards coach Rob Hunter who suggested he transition from the back row to a second row berth and, having soaked up knowledge from teammates and coaches alike, Tuima hasn’t looked back.

Director of Rugby Rob Baxter believes Tuima will continue to go from strength to strength and be an integral part of the Chiefs squad moving forward.

“This is great news for us. Rusi is a player who is really starting to breakthrough this year. We’ve known for a long time that he’s had bags and bags of potential, but he’s really taken off this season with us promoting him into the starting line-up in the second row.

“We’ve got to credit Rob Hunter and Ross McMillan for all the work they’ve done with Rusi around playing in his new position as he’s very much become one of our front-line players now.

“I think Rusi is showing an awful lot of qualities of a modern, big, ball-carrying second row forward and he’s having lots of impact in a very important way for us in a team that is playing very well.

“He’s been rewarded with a recent call-up into the England A team which I think was much deserved. As things stand now, I see him as a young man with a really bright future, so I’m really pleased that he’s committed to the club for the long term. Hopefully he can be one of those players that helps us move forward and potentially win trophies in the future.”

Tuima joins second row partner Lewis Pearson as well as backs Harvey Skinner and Immanuel Feyi-Waboso in being the first names to be announced as remaining at Sandy Park for next season.

Sign up to the Chiefs Newsletter

To receive a copy of the Exeter Chiefs Newsletter, please enter your email address below. You will then receive an email to confirm that you wish to receive it. You can unsubscribe at any time simply by following the link at the bottom of the email.