Chiefs step into Lions' den for talent

Thu, 31 Jul 2014 09:33
Large chrysander botha lions

Exeter Chiefs are ready to unleash Namibian speedster Chrysander Botha into the Premiership, after the fullback became the club's latest signing.

Exeter Chiefs are ready to unleash Namibian speedster Chrysander Botha into the Premiership, after the fullback became the club's eighth signing of the off-season.

The Super Rugby star - who joins from the Lions in South Africa - touched down at Sandy Park on Wednesday and will join up with his new teammates next week ahead of the new 2014/15 season.

Botha has been tracked by the Chiefs coaching team for some time and assistant coach Ali Hepher believes the arrival of the 26-year-old will give the Devon club yet another attacking weapon in their arsenal as the countdown to the new campaign looms ever larger on the horizon.

Indeed, Hepher believes Botha, who was part of Namibia's squad for the last World Cup in New Zealand in 2011, will help bolster Exeter's back three options, particularly in the wake of Luke Arscott's departure to Bath during the close season.

"He's a slightly different player to what we've got already. There's hopefully a little more pace and he's an exciting runner on the ball. He's also tough defensively, which is always important at fullback.

"It's a slot we have been looking to fill for a little while now, we've been looking for the right person but we weren't desperate because  we've got other players who are more than capable of playing in that position. Hopefully he will add a bit more quality there for us."

Certainly Botha will have plenty of competition for the No.15 jersey with the likes of Phil Dollman, Jack Nowell and Jack Arnott more than capable of filling the position if called upon.

However, Botha's earlier than expected arrival means that the African ace now has time to not only settle into his new surroundings, but will be able to feature in the club's three upcoming pre-season friendlies against Cardiff Blues, Ulster and Worcester Warriors.

And Hepher believes having the player on board this early in pre-season means he will be able to quickly get himself up to speed with the Chiefs' game plan over the next fortnight or so.

"With the Super Rugby season finishing, we wanted to get him in as early as possible," added Hepher. "It's worked at this stage and it will be good to get him into training next week and then we can really have a good look at him within our system and see how he goes.

"Obviously we have got other options for the position, so it's meant we have been able to take our time to find the best fit that was out there and hopefully Chrysander is that."

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 09 October 2015
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
South Africa v Scotland 34 | 16
Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Leinster v Dragons 37 | 13
Griquas v Sharks 20 | 45
Pumas v Free State Cheetahs 37 | 37
Fri, 02 October 2015
New Zealand v Georgia 43 | 10
Team P W D L Pts
Golden Lions 9 9 0 0 43
Blue Bulls 9 7 0 2 34
Western Province 9 6 0 3 30
Free State Cheetahs 9 3 1 5 21
Sharks 9 4 0 5 19
Pumas 9 3 1 5 16
EP Kings 9 2 0 7 12
Griquas 9 1 0 8 8