Julian Salvi to leave Leicester for Exeter Chiefs

Tigers flanker Julian Salvi will leave the Leicester rugby club and join Aviva Premiership rivals Exeter Chiefs on a two-year deal.

The 29-year-old Australian has spent the past four years at Welford Road and has established himself as one of Premiership rugby’s most effective loose forwards.

With 112 appearances to his name and 11 tries in the bag, it’s fair to say he’s played a pivotal role for the Midlanders.

His arrival in the Westcountry, however, will be much heralded as the Chiefs already prepare their plans for the 2015/16 season.

“I’m really looking forward to the move as I see it as a new adventure and a nice move for me and my family,” said Salvi. “Exeter is a club on the rise and you can see from their results and performances this season, they are a formidable outfit within the Premiership and Europe.

“What they have achieved since coming out of the Championship has been outstanding and each year they continue to improve.”

With current Tigers team-mate Geoff Parling also set to make a similar move this summer, plus close friends Thomas Waldrom and Ben White already in place at Sandy Park, Salvi already has a few familiar faces in tow to get him acquainted to Devon life.

He continued: “I spoke to one or two of the boys down there, guys like Thomas Waldrom and Ben White who I’ve known for years, and also Pat Phibbs and Peter Kimlin also spoke highly of the place as well.

“Also having come down and spoken with Rob Baxter, taken a look around the place, you can see everything is in place for an exciting future. I know the strength of the squad they have, especially in the back-row, but I enjoy a challenge and can’t wait to get stuck into things.”

Indeed, having come up against Devon’s finest on numerous occasions in recent times, Salvi needs little introduction to Exeter’s qualities.

“Over the years I’ve got to play the Chiefs a few times now and they’ve always been tough games, especially down at Sandy Park,” he added.” I like the way they approach the game, they play a great, attacking brand of rugby, but they’ve also got a pretty solid defence as well.

“You only have to look at the number of points and the number of tries that they’ve scored to see there is a real creative flair within the side.”

Keen to enjoy a change of lifestyle and a new environment in which to play, Salvi says he likes what he sees on offer from his new club.

“As a player looking in from the outside, you can see the Chiefs have a great culture. As I said, you only have to look at what the club have achieved over the last five years, that doesn’t come without having a great work ethic and a really good culture. I’m excited to be part of all that and help the club to improve even more.”

Commenting on the capture of Salvi, Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter said,”Put simply, he is a very good player, very highly-rated and one of the star open-side flankers in the Premiership for a number of seasons now.

“I think people are aware that he has come available relatively late in the season as a target for us, so I took the decision when I knew he was coming available to talk to him.

“I spent a bit of time looking at him in detail and it’s like a lot of players, you have watched them play and know some of their qualities but you have to watch them in detail before you make any decisions. The more detail that I looked into Julian, the more impressed I was.”

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