England Under 20s coach Rob Hunter will become the new forwards coach at Exeter Chiefs from the start of April.
A Northumbrian born and bred, Hunter is an RFU Level 4 coach and joins the Devon club with a proven track record within the game. Not only did he feature as a player for London Scottish and Northampton Saints, but he also represented both the Army and Combined Services.
As a coach, the 40-year-old initially cut his teeth with the Saints where he worked alongside current Chiefs backs coach Ali Hepher within the club's Academy set-up, before then moving onto England where in the past two seasons he has overseen the Under-20s to successive Six Nations titles.
In his time as Under-20s coach, Hunter has been instrumental in helping forge the careers of some of England's brightest young talent, including Joe Marler, Joe Launchbury, Owen Farrell, Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes; whilst more recently he has worked closely with Exeter's very own young guns Luke Cowan-Dickie, Henry Slade, Jack Nowell, Sam Hill, Jack Arnott and Joel Conlon.
"It's a massive honour for me to get this opportunity, especially at a club like Exeter" said Hunter.
"They have had a great surge into the Premiership and established themselves amongst the best teams in the country. They have a great group of lads, several of whom I know well from working within the England Under-20s set-up.
"Not only do they have a great culture within, but the ambition of the club is huge. The club is looking to develop their ground and move forward on that front, but equally the coaches and players are hugely ambitious and they have assembled a quality squad.
"I have a huge amount of respect for Ali Hepher and it will be great to work with him again. Equally I am looking forward to working alongside and learning from the likes of Rob [Baxter], Ricky [Pellow], Robin [Cowling] and supporting the staff and players"
"Like a lot of people I've seen Exeter really emerge as a Premiership club over the last few years and now I've been given the opportunity to be part of that. If I could sum it up, I was watching the recent Clermont away game on TV, a tough day for the Chiefs. In the 78th minute I could hear the travelling supporters still chanting their song and see the players still throwing their bodies in. That's the sort of club I want to be involved in."
"Obviously we are very pleased to have a coach of Rob's quality come to the club," said Exeter boss Rob Baxter.
"We have always got to be looking to develop and that doesn't apply just to the squad, it also applies the off field squad. Rob Gibson has been doing a fantastic job for us for some time now, but he's going to be more heavily involved with things at Bicton College and developing their rugby academy, so there was an opportunity for someone to come in and Rob fits that bill perfectly.