Matawalu leaves Bath for Chiefs

Wed, 09 Nov 2016 07:49
Large nikomatawalusevens

NEWS: Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter believes new signing Niko Matawalu can add some real ‘X-Factor’ to his backline.

The Fijian international will head to Sandy Park from Premiership rivals Bath Rugby and will join up with his new teammates once the current internationals are concluded.

Equally at home either on the wing or at scrumhalf, Baxter believes the 27-year-old is a great addition to the Chiefs make-up and is excited at what he can bring to the club moving forward.

"Initially Niko [Matawalu’s] joining until the end of the season," said Baxter.

"Initially we want to have a good look at him and then we’ll see if there is an opportunity beyond that.

"As a club, we’re really looking forward to bringing him here. We had a good look at him previously when he first decided to move on from Glasgow to Bath, but now the opportunity has arisen for us to sign him and it’s come at the right time for us.

"We’re not expecting him to be 100 per cent straight away as he has had a relatively lengthy injury, but he’s fully fit now, he’s ready to play, and we’re hoping he will get some good game time during these autumn internationals to help get him right up to speed,"

Having come up against Matawalu in action for both Bath and Glasgow Warriors in the past, Baxter is well aware of the threat posed by the livewire back, who has won 28 international caps for his country.

"He’s an exciting player, someone you describe as an ‘X-Factor’ type player," added the Chiefs leader. "He’s someone we feel will add a bit of sparkle to what we are wanting to achieve here at the club.

"As I said, he can play on the wing or at scrumhalf and we’ll certainly look at him in both positions. Right now I think he’s what we are looking for as I think he will add that little bit of energy and sparkle to things.

"Having met Niko and seeing the energy he exudes just in walking around and talking, I think he will be a very good fit for us,"

Matawalu’s arrival will signal a fourth Fijian to have joined the Chiefs ranks during the Premiership era, following in the footsteps of Sireli Naqelevuki, Josh Matavesi and Nemani Nadolo.

The 27-year-old has made 13 appearances during his time at Bath Rugby, with injury hampering Matawalu’s game time over recent months.

"I have enjoyed my time here at Bath very much," said Matawalu. "However, this is a good opportunity for me to get more game time with Exeter, and so it is the right step for me to further my career. I’d like to thank everyone at Bath for their support, and wish them all the best for the future."

Director of Rugby, Todd Blackadder, added: "Niko has been a great character to have around the squad, but we understand that he would like to get more game time and wish him well,"

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 24 September 2017
London Irish v Northampton Saints 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Wasps 14h00 Sandy Park
Fri, 29 September 2017
Sharks v Golden Lions 17h00 Durban
Newcastle Falcons v London Irish 18h35 Kingston Park
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 18h35 Sixways
Sale Sharks v Gloucester 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Glasgow Warriors v Treviso 19h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Leinster v Edinburgh 19h35 RDS Arena
Scarlets v Connacht 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 30 September 2017
Griquas v Free State Cheetahs 12h00 Kimberley
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 13h00 Welford Road
Munster v Cardiff Blues 13h30 Thomond Park
Northampton Saints v Harlequins 14h00 Franklin's Gardens
Cheetahs v Ospreys 14h00 Bloemfontein
Wasps v Bath 14h00 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 14h35 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Bloemfontein
Dragons v Kings 18h35 Rodney Parade
Sun, 01 October 2017
Argentina v New Zealand 22h30 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 4 3 0 1 14
Newcastle Falcons 4 3 0 1 14
Exeter Chiefs 3 2 0 1 11
Wasps 3 2 0 1 10
Harlequins 4 2 0 2 10
Bath 4 2 0 2 10
Leicester Tigers 4 2 0 2 9
Northampton Saints 3 2 0 1 9
Gloucester 4 2 0 2 9
Sale Sharks 4 1 0 3 7
London Irish 3 1 0 2 5
Worcester Warriors 4 0 0 4 1