Exeter have signed young forward Jonny Hill from fellow Premiership side Gloucester on a two-year deal.
The 21-year-old forward has watched from afar as Rob Baxter has allowed the likes of Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Dave Ewers Luke Cowan-Dickie and Sam Hill to forge themselves as first team regulars.
And now the 6ft 7in, 17st 9lbs lock hopes to tread a similar path as he aims to make an impression having previously been part of Gloucester’s Academy set-up where he was also dual-registered with National League One side Hartpury College for the last two seasons.
But with his contract at Kingsholm drawing to a close, the Ludlow-born youngster switched his attentions to Devon to further his career.
“I was at Gloucester for two years, and my contract came up and Rob gave my agent a call,” explained Hill, who made two first-team appearances for the Cherry and Whites, coming off the bench against Scarlets and Northampton Saints in the LV= Cup in the 2013-14 season.
“I came for a look around and liked what I saw, and came on down. Seeing people like Jack Nowell, Sam Hill and Dave Ewers coming through at Exeter impressed me. Rob is really good at giving young players good exposure, and that was a real selling point for me.”
Although Hill’s arrival has only been officially confirmed this week, the youngster arrived at Sandy Park at the tail end of the last campaign as he fought back from knee and ankle injuries.
“Spending the last few weeks of the season at the club was a good stepping stone for me to get my rehab right and meet all the lads, and hopefully I will be a good few steps ahead of the other lads coming in that will be new to the club, so I am really happy with that,” he said.
“I can’t praise the support staff, the physios and the strength and conditioning staff at the club enough. They have been brilliant with me, and looked after me from day one, and they put it all out for me, and I have just got to do it, and it will hopefully stand me in good stead for the season ahead.”