Thomas the Tank 'excited' by move

Mon, 20 Jan 2014 12:27
Large thomas waldrom

Thomas Waldrom says he is "excited" by the challenge that lies ahead after he sealed a move to the Exeter Chiefs from Premiership rivals Leicester Tigers.

Thomas Waldrom says he is "excited" by the challenge that lies ahead after he sealed a move to the Exeter Chiefs from Premiership rivals Leicester Tigers.

The 30-year-old England international will join the Devon club from the start of next season after recently agreeing a three-year contract with the Chiefs.

Waldrom's switch to the Westcountry will bring to an end a successful four-year stint at Welford Road for the powerful back row forward. Not only has he won five caps for England during his time in the East Midlands, but he has also claimed a Premiership title, an LV= Cup winners' medal, and was crowned the Rugby Players' Association Player of the Year in 2011.

Born in Lower Hutt in New Zealand, Waldrom spent his early playing days featuring back home for provincial clubs Wellington and Hawke's Bay before he moved on to Super Rugby sides Hurricanes and Crusaders.

The Tigers clearly liked what they saw of Waldrom, who joined them in 2010. Quickly he installed himself as not only a fans' favourite, but also an integral part of the Leicester back row where he featured in all three positions.

To date, Waldrom has amassed 105 appearances for the club and scored 21 tries in the process.

His arrival at Sandy Park is seen as a key indicator of Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter looking to bring in proven international talent to go alongside the ever-developing Exeter squad.

"I'm excited by the move because it's a fresh challenge for me," said Waldrom.

"I've had four fantastic years at Leicester and experienced so many high points with them. A lot of what I have achieved in the game has come from my time playing there, so I owe them and the supporters an awful lot."

"Also I've made a lot of good mates who I will no doubt stay in touch with, but when I spoke to Rob [Baxter] I liked what he had to say about the club, the direction it was heading and the plans for the future."

"I know from past experiences and playing against them that the Chiefs are a very strong side, especially down at Sandy Park, and that they have a very good culture amongst their squad.  I think it will be good to be part of all of that and hopefully I can add something of my own to the mix."

Having been given a full briefing of the club's plans by Baxter himself, Waldrom admitted he had done some of his own homework on his new team, including sounding out current Chiefs Jason Shoemark and Hoani Tui for a bit more of an insight.

"They both spoke very highly of the club and said it was a great place to play rugby," he continued. "Obviously Rob outlined the future plans, including the work on the stadium, so it's all happening and it would be nice to be part of that progress."

With the Chiefs already blessed with an abundance of talent in the back row, Waldrom is well aware the battle for a place in the squad will be tough.

"It's kind of what you expect at top clubs," he added. "Exeter already have some great players in the back row, people like Tom Johnson who I know from the England set-up, so of course it will be a battle for places."

"My initial aim will be to settle in as best I can, train hard during pre-season and just look to earn the respect of those around me. After that we'll see what happens and try and move the club forward as best you can."

Waldrom is Baxter's first major capture for the 2014/15 season, although the Chiefs boss has hinted that a number of other signings are in the pipeline and could well be putting pen to paper shortly.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Thu, 26 May 2016
Canada v Italy 16h00 Toronto
Fri, 27 May 2016
Hurricanes v Highlanders 07h35 Wellington
Waratahs v Chiefs 09h40 Sydney
Boland v Eagles 13h00 Wellington
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 13h00 Bloemfontein
Border v Falcons 17h00 East London
Kings v Jaguares 17h00 Ascoli Piceno
Sat, 28 May 2016
Blues v Crusaders 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Sunwolves 09h40 Canberra
Western Province v Griquas 10h15 Newlands
Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
Namibia v Griffons 13h00 Windhoek
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 London
Bulls v Lions 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Connacht 16h30 Edinburgh
Sun, 29 May 2016
Rebels v Force 06h05 Melbourne
England v Wales 14h00 London
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 22 17 1 4 80
Exeter Chiefs 22 15 0 7 74
Wasps 22 15 0 7 72
Leicester Tigers 22 14 0 8 65
Northampton Saints 22 12 0 10 60
Sale Sharks 22 11 2 9 58
Harlequins 22 10 1 11 55
Gloucester 22 10 1 11 49
Bath 22 9 0 13 48
Worcester Warriors 22 7 0 15 35
Newcastle Falcons 22 5 1 16 27
London Irish 22 4 0 18 20