Exeter Chiefs have announced the signing of Australia international back Lachie Turner, who joins the club on a two-and-a-half year deal.
The former Reds wing or full-back arrived at Sandy Park on Tuesday to begin his time with Rob Baxter’s outfit.
Having played predominantly back home in Australia with Super Rugby sides the Waratahs and Reds, the 28-year-old back last year spent time in the Top 14 with Toulon as World Cup cover.
Now, Turner – who has won 15 international caps for the Wallabies – is ready to give the Premiership a crack, joining a Chiefs side who are riding high in second place and who have also qualified for the last eight of the European Champions Cup.
“I’m very excited to be here,” said the Sydney-born flyer.
“I found out a little while ago that I would be coming, but I’ve had to wait for the paperwork and visas to be sorted. Now it’s all sorted, I can’t wait to dive in.”
Although this will be Turner’s first taste of English rugby, the gifted back has already been given a glowing endorsement of his new club from former Chiefs skipper Dean Mumm.
“I know a little bit about the place thanks to Dean, whose a good friend of mine from back home,” added Turner.
“I quizzed him a bit about the club and what to expect and he only had good things to say. He loved his time here and would probably love to be back.
“He said he enjoyed playing under Rob and with the group of guys and that his time in Exeter really invigorated his love for rugby again.
“Also with the recruitment of Dave Dennis and Greg Holmes for next season as well, there’s going to be a few of us Aussie guys over here, which is all good.”
Even though compatriots Dennis and Holmes will not arrive until next term, Turner says he cannot wait to get stuck into Chiefs life.
“It’s something when the opportunity arose that I jumped at,” he continued.
“I got a call saying Exeter were keen and immediately I said do whatever it takes. I spoke to Rob, I had a really conversation with him, and after speaking to him for two minutes I was sold. We didn’t really talk money or length of deal, I just knew I wanted to be here and it all fell into place from there.”
The arrival of Turner merely boosts a Chiefs back division that already tops the try-scoring charts in the Premiership and the Aussie ace hopes he can add something to the mix moving forward.
“The team have done very well this season and the whole organisation is in a strong position,” said Turner.
“Moving forward my role is just to add to that as best I can and try to continue the good work the team have done. Sitting where they are is a great accomplishment to everyone.
“Speaking to the guys this morning, though, they are all about consistency and making sure we are on our game each week. As I said, I’m looking forward to the challenge and I’m looking forward to jumping in at the deep end and seeing what English Premiership rugby is all about.
“The Premiership is certainly a lot more regarded back home than in recent years. Perhaps in the past it was thought that only one or two sides could win it, but now you look at it and anyone can beat anyone. You’ve seen Wasps go through a decline and come back and play some very good footy and everyone has seen Exeter work their way up to be the team they are now.
“It’s a tough division, there is no doubt about that, but Exeter are one of the major contenders and I’m hoping to play my part moving forward.”