Exeter Chiefs sign Waratahs Dean Mumm

Aviva Premiership Rugby club Exeter Chiefs have signed Australian international Dean Mumm from the Waratahs for the 2012/13 campaign on a two year deal.

The 28-year-old forward flanker and lock will leave Super 15 Rugby side Waratahs at the end of the current season and head to Devon for his first taste of life in the Aviva Premiership.

Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter has identified Mumm, who has 33 international caps to his name, as a key addition to the playing ranks as Exeter look forward to not only competing in English rugby’s top flight, but also amongst the cream of the European game in the Heineken Cup.

“He’s a very good signing for us and a very good player,” declared Baxter.

“We’ve been watching him since the start of the Super 15 season and not only is he a back five forward coming into his physical prime, he’s also vastly experienced and a good leader.

“We’ve looked at lot at him and we believe he has got a lot of ingredients that we want him to bring to the club. Personally, I think it’s a great credit to what the players have achieved this season – and where we are as a club right now – that a guy of that standing wants to come and play his rugby here in Exeter.”

The New Zealand-born forward made his debut for the Waratahs in 2004, playing his first Super Rugby match three years later against the Lions. Since then Mumm has established himself as a major force within the club’s ranks and is the most capped second-row forward in New South Wales history.

Versatile enough to play in the back-row, Mumm – who has 32 caps for the Wallabies – is the fourth new arrival confirmed by the Chiefs for next season and he will join Doncaster duo Alex Brown and Jack Yeandle, as well as Ulster’s Ian Whitten in moving to Sandy Park this summer.

Baxter has been on the look-out to bolster his second-row options following the recent retirement of Peter Short and the news that Chris Bentley is to hang up his professional boots at the end of the season.

“The reality is we are losing a couple of second rows come the end of the season, so there is no way you can go into either a Premiership or Heineken Cup campaign with only three frontline second rows, which is where we are at the moment,” explained Baxter.

“The arrival of Dean will takes us to four, but I’d say we’re still a little light in terms of the back five, so we may well add another couple of people in that area.”

Mumm, who has previously captained the Australian national team in 2009, featured in Saturday’s 30-21 win for the Waratahs against the Melbourne Rebels and was an ever present for his side during 2011.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him get over here and working with him,” added Baxter.

“The move for Dean has happened very quickly and we’re delighted to have him on board. What I like about him is having spoke to him; he was keen to come to Exeter and play. We haven’t had to convince him to come over, he’s had a look at what we’ve been doing and saw we are a club moving forward.

“He was happy to commit to us even before we secured our place in the Heineken Cup and I’m confident he will buy into what we are all about. As I said, we think he will be a great addition to what is already a strong group of back five forwards.”

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