Chiefs hoping Kimlin will make a big impact

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter is confident that his new Australian signing from the Brumbies, Peter Kimlin can make a real impact with the Chiefs.

The 25-year-old Australian international, who has penned a three-month deal with the Aviva Premiership club from Super 15 outfit Brumbies, has been brought in by Baxter to bolster his options both in the second row and back row.

For weeks there has been speculation linking the Canberra-born forward with a move to England – and on Tuesday the formalities of his switch were finally completed as he was paraded alongside Baxter at the club’s Sandy Park base.

Welcoming Kimlin to the Chiefs, Baxter said: “We have tracked him for a little while, but obviously dotting the ‘i’s’ and crossing the ‘t’s’ has taken a little while. Thankfully that is all sorted now and we’re delighted to have him here.

“He’s been here 36 hours, so he’s just starting to get his feet into things and seeing what we are all about. We will take him to France this weekend so he can spend some time with the squad; learn things about us and basically get use to the play book and watch a few games.”

But with Kimlin only due to stay for a short period of time, Baxter knows it is vitally he gets his latest signing up to speed as quickly as possible.

He added: “To be fair, we’ve signed a guy who wants to play immediately – and that’s a great scenario to be in. He is a big physical specimen; he’s athletic, tall and he’s just what you need in the modern game. But like anyone who comes into the squad, he will to get his head down and get the work done.

“We were a good team last year and we’ve prove to be useful this year. Like anyone in the squad, he will have to play well and prove his worth. I’m pretty confident he will do that and when he gets his opportunity, I want him to show he is a decent player. As I said, I’m glad he’s here because he will add something, but we’ve still got to see him out on the paddock to see that first.”

Kimlin, who has won two caps for the Wallabies, has only recently returned to action with Eastern Suburbs after a year out with a serious shoulder injury. However, Baxter believes his latest signing is raring to go and ready to make his mark on English rugby for the first time.

“He has played three games recently, so it’s not going to take much to get him up to speed,” said the coach. “Also his flexibility means he can pretty much cover the back five. He’s an ideal signing in an area which is very important in any rugby side. With him coming in it gives us a little bit more confidence and cover in those areas, particularly with injuries to the likes of James Phillips.

“In recent weeks we’ve been losing the numbers game a little bit, particularly when we have the odd injury or A League game, but we’re confident we have a good guy who will add something to the squad.”

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