Tongan Chief relishes new challenge

Tue, 06 Aug 2013 19:05
Large fetuuvainikoloexeter Large fetu uvainikolojapantry2 Large fetu uvainikolotonga

Tongan wing Fetu’u Vainikolo has spoken of his excitement after he completed his move to Exeter Chiefs on a two-year deal.

New Exeter Chiefs wing Fetu’u Vainikolo has spoken of his excitement after he completed his move to the Premiership club on a two-year deal.

The Tongan international, who moves to Sandy Park from Irish club Connacht, has said that Exeter Chiefs’ style of play was a main factor for him joining and that he cannot wait to get started.

“I’m really excited and looking forward to it,” said the 28-year-old. “It’s always good to get a new experience and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.

“Exeter’s type of game play really suits me as a rugby player, it’s the type of rugby I want to play because they like to throw the ball around here, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Vainikolo has already experience tackling the Chiefs, having faced them at the start of last season in a pre-season fixture at Sandy Park.

“I have come across the Chiefs before, so I know they play a very fast game,” he added. “As I said, I can’t wait to get used to it and get involved.”

Vainikolo, who started every European Cup game for Connacht last season and scored a try against Biarritz, said that his new teammates have already helped him settle in to life in the Westcountry.

“It helps big time,” he explained. “I already know the old man ‘Shoey’ [Jason Shoemark] and the ‘Fijian flyer’ Sireli [Naqelevuki], so it’s made it a lot easier for me. Yes I was a bit nervous coming into a new team, but they are good lads here so that has helped a lot.”

Exeter’s latest newcomer jetted into Devon over the weekend and has wasted little time in looking around his new surroundings.

“I’ve had a day or so here now, yesterday I had a look around and I like it a lot,” he said.

“Exeter is not too small and it’s not too big, so it’s perfect to be honest.”

The former Highlanders player was a part of the Tongan squad at the Pacific Nations Cup and described representing his country at the tournament as “a great experience”.

With the pre-season games starting in less than two weeks, Vainikolo is already looking forward to the challenge at the Chiefs and is relishing the start of the new season.

Discussing his move to English rugby’s top flight, Vainikolo added: “I just wanted to try new things and play here in England and Exeter was one of the best attractions to me.

“I don’t really know what the Premiership will be like, but I’m sure I’m going to find out pretty soon! I can’t really say much about it because I haven’t played a game yet, but it should be quite similar to any other team and competition.

“As for what we do as a team, I’m just hoping we can better last year and that the club can go further than ever before. For myself, I just want to go out there and play and score some tries.”

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Thu, 11 February 2016
Dragons v Connacht 19h30 Rodney Parade
Fri, 12 February 2016
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h30 Kingspan Stadium
Leinster v Zebre 19h30 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers 19h45 Kingston Park
Scarlets v Edinburgh 20h15 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 13 February 2016
Treviso v Cardiff Blues 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
France v Ireland 14h25 Paris
Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Northampton Saints v London Irish 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Worcester Warriors v Bath 15h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Wales v Scotland 16h50 Cardiff
Sun, 14 February 2016
Italy v England 14h00 Rome
Saracens v Wasps 16h00 Allianz Park
Munster v Ospreys 17h00 Irish Independent Park
Mon, 15 February 2016
NMMU-Madibaz v Maties 14h45 Port Elizabeth
UP-Tuks v Shimlas 16h30 Pretoria
TUT v UWC 16h30 Pretoria
CUT-Ixias v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Bloemfontein
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16h30 Pietermaritzburg
NWU-Pukke v UJ 17h00 Potchefstroom
Thu, 18 February 2016
TUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Pretoria
Fort Hare v Wits 16h30 East London
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 11 10 0 1 45
Exeter Chiefs 11 8 0 3 39
Leicester Tigers 11 8 0 3 34
Harlequins 11 6 1 4 33
Wasps 11 6 0 5 28
Northampton Saints 11 5 0 6 26
Sale Sharks 10 5 1 4 26
Gloucester 11 5 1 5 25
Bath 10 3 0 7 18
Worcester Warriors 11 2 0 9 13
London Irish 11 3 0 8 12
Newcastle Falcons 11 2 1 8 12