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
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 20 15 0 5 75
Saracens 20 14 0 6 67
Wasps 20 12 1 7 61
Newcastle Falcons 20 13 0 7 59
Leicester Tigers 20 2 0 8 57
Gloucester 20 11 1 8 56
Sale Sharks 20 10 0 10 54
Bath 20 9 0 11 46
Harlequins 20 7 0 13 36
Northampton Saints 20 7 0 13 36
Worcester Warriors 20 6 0 14 31
London Irish 20 3 0 17 22