Planet Rugby

Exeter sign Championship prop

03rd April 2014 09:51

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Scouting: Rob Baxter

Tomas Francis says he is "excited" by the challenge that awaits him after moving to Exeter Chiefs from London Scottish.

The 21-year-old prop has agreed a two-year deal with the Aviva Premiership club and is the latest new addition brought to Sandy Park by Exeter head coach Rob Baxter.

With current tight-heads Hoani Tui and Craig Mitchell set to depart Devon at the end of the current campaign, Baxter has wasted little time in bolstering his options for the number three jersey having recently brought in experienced Scottish international Moray Low from Glasgow Warriors and now Francis from the Exiles.

"I'm really excited about the move," said Francis.

"If I'm honest, getting into the Premiership has come a lot quicker than I thought, but it's a great opportunity for me and one that I hope to take with both hands.

"Exeter are a great club and one that have come out of the Championship and really progressed within the Premiership. They have a great stadium, superb support and they are a club who are very ambitious and want to move forward."

"When I spoke to Rob [Baxter] he told me about what the club want to do and where they want to go - and convinced me that it's a good place to be if you're an ambitious, young player."

Francis, who has featured 21 times for the Londoners this season, joined Scottish from relegated Doncaster Knights last year, where he played last season alongside his final year of studying and playing at the University of Leeds.

"We always keep a close eye on the Championship and one of the things we tend to keep a close eye on is front five forwards," said Baxter.

"On a pretty consistent basis, Tom has looked very good. He's looked strong in the set-piece and more mobile than you'd imagine when you see the stats for his size."

"He's been a pretty dominant scrummager, but he's also short of time in the professional game. This is his first full season at a full-time club and that all makes him very interesting. He's got huge potential. He's 21 years old, in his first year in a professional environment, and he's a very solid performer in the set-piece."

"He's someone we hope will develop during his time at Exeter and I can see him coming through as a good player in the Premiership. Meeting him and seeing his desire to get on and thrive in a professional environment is quite commendable. I'm sure he'll come in and work very hard."

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