Exeter Chiefs have announced the signing of Julian Salvi from Leicester Tigers ahead of next season.
Having already recruited England and British Lions lock Geoff Parling for next season, Baxter has moved swiftly to add Salvi to the Sandy Park roster for the next two years.
Widely regarded as one of the most destructive forwards in European rugby, Salvi’s arrival in the Westcountry is yet another telling addition to what is looking a formidable Chiefs squad for the 2015/16 season.
Commenting on the capture of Salvi, Baxter said: “Put simply, he is a very good player, very highly-rated and one of the star open-side flankers in the Premiership for a number of seasons now.
“I think people are aware that he has come available relatively late in the season as a target for us, so I took the decision when I knew he was coming available to talk to him.
“I spent a bit of time looking at him in detail and it’s like a lot of players, you have watched them play and know some of their qualities but you have to watch them in detail before you make any decisions. The more detail that I looked into Julian, the more impressed I was.”
A prominent figure in the Leicester back-row for the past four years, Salvi’s move to the Chiefs will only bolster a back-row department that already includes the likes of Dave Ewers, Don Armand, Ben White, Kai Horstmann, Tom Johnson, Sam Simmonds, Sam Skinner and Thomas Waldrom.
Baxter continued: “He is talked about an awful lot for his defensive qualities, but what I was most pleased with was what I saw of his attacking qualities. When we looked at him in detail it all added up. Our meeting went very well and he came across very well in what he said about his continued ambitions about the game and what he wants to achieve and get out of rugby.
“With the situation which ended up happening at Leicester, it was an opportunity that was too good for us to miss. I think Julian will fit in really well. He is very much his own man and I was very pleased we could sign him for the next two years.”