Italian international Michele Campagnaro says the challenge of testing himself in English rugby’s Premiership is one that excites him after he sealed a move to Exeter Chiefs.
The 21-year-old back will depart Benetton Treviso for Sandy Park at the end of the current campaign having put pen to paper on a two-year deal with Rob Baxter’s side.
Capped 13 times by his country, Campagnaro’s arrival in the Westcountry is yet another big statement of intent from the Chiefs, who have already added both Geoff Parling and Ollie Woodburn to their ranks for the 2015/16 season.
Head coach Baxter believes his new recruit will offer a bit of ‘X-Factor’ to his back division next season – and the player himself is looking forward to his first taste of life in the Premiership.
“I’m very excited and proud to be of the Chiefs,” he said. “At the moment, I’m trying to do my best and perform well with my current club, but at the same time I’m very impatient to start this new experience.
“Speaking to other Italian players who have played in England, I’ve managed to get a lot of positive impressions and it gave the confidence to take on what I think will be a great experience.”
“Having watched him play for Treviso and Italy, a huge part of his game has been defending. When you see him playing for Treviso in the Pro12, he makes an awful lot of tackles. He is a very good and dependable tackler, which first and foremost makes him very selectable," said Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter.
“You know you can put him in your backline and you know the opposition are not going to make many meters against you. On top of that, anyone who has seen some international performances, you can see he has that X-Factor. “He has those opportunities to start trying to step people and find a bit of space and he can be a very exciting runner."