Chiefs challenge excites Armand

Wed, 17 Jul 2013 16:54
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Former Stormers utility forward Don Armand has spoken of his “excitement” at the challenge that lies ahead at Exeter Chiefs.

Newcomer Don Armand has spoken of his “excitement” at the challenge that lies ahead after he completed his move to Premiership side Exeter Chiefs.

The 24-year-old forward has agreed a two-year contract and joins the Devon club from South African Super Rugby outfit the Stormers.

Armand, who can play either at lock or in the back row, made his Super Rugby debut as an injury replacement in 2012 and has not looked back since.

He was part of the squad that won the South Africa Conference, having earlier in the year tasted success with the Western Province Vodacom Cup team and, later in 2012, helping Western Province to the Currie Cup title.

A formidable presence out on the park, Armand says he is now looking to bring his all-action game to the Chiefs, who last season again finished in the top six of English rugby’s top flight.

“I’m very excited by the challenge that lies ahead,” said the Harare-born player. “The club is very professional, the stadium is great and although I’ve not met the fans’ yet, I’ve been on Twitter and they have all been so welcoming. It’s already amazing and everybody has made me feel very welcome.”

Having flown into the UK on Tuesday, Armand has wasted little time in getting to know his new surroundings, as well as his new teammates.

“The lads look a great bunch and the more I look at the games and the more I ask people about the club and the area, the better it feels.

“Coming to England is a new challenge for me, but it’s one I am definitely looking forward too. When I spoke to Rob [Baxter] I had a great chat with him and he told me so much about the club and where it wanted to go. I also asked other people about the Chiefs and they could only tell me good things, so for me there were so many positives and I just wanted to be involved.”

As well as the demands of the Premiership, Armand will need to brace himself for the challenges that lie ahead in both the European Cup and Anglo-Welsh Cup competitions.

“It’s pretty full on if you look at the fixtures,” he said. “As a player, though, I think that is what you want. Each week you want to be testing yourselves against the top sides and I think here in England you get that kind of test every time you play.

“Like I said, it’s a new challenge for me – but it’s one I am really relishing. I guess it will be different to Super Rugby, I know the set-piece is more essential over here and that you go into a lot more detail, but it’s like anything if you’re willing to put in the hard yards and get ready for the games, then things will tend to be a lot easier for you and your team.”

But as Armand – a product of Maritzburg College – prepares to start a new chapter in his playing career, he was quick to thank those that he has left behind in Cape Town.

He added: “It was an amazing privilege to be a part of the Stormers family. The Newlands faithful were fantastic and I have so many happy memories. It’s those memories and those good times that can help define you and help you become a better person. Now I hope the same will happen here with the Chiefs.”

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 10 8 0 2 40
Gloucester 10 7 0 3 32
Saracens 10 6 0 4 31
Bath 10 6 0 4 30
Wasps 10 6 0 4 29
Leicester Tigers 10 6 0 4 28
Harlequins 10 5 0 5 24
Newcastle Falcons 10 5 0 5 24
Sale Sharks 10 4 0 6 23
Northampton Saints 10 4 0 6 22
Worcester Warriors 10 2 0 8 14
London Irish 10 1 0 9 8