Exeter Chiefs wing Alex Cuthbert has praised the club’s organisation after joining from Cardiff Blues and is looking to press for honours.
Cuthbert admits he cannot wait to pull on an Exeter jersey for the first time as the countdown to the 2018/19 Premiership season continues apace.
The Lions finisher arrived at Exeter a month earlier than planned due to an injury picked up on Blues duty and has been enjoying his time thus far.
“I came to Exeter pretty much straight after my injury because I knew that was my season over and I just wanted to get down here,” he told Exeter’s website. “I’ve been doing lots of work with the physios to make sure I’m 100 per cent ready for the start of the season.
“I’ve had a bit of a headstart but it doesn’t make things any easier. I know I’ve got a battle to win a place here with the quality of competition from guys like Jack Nowell, Olly Woodburn, James Short and Santiago Cordero.
“That’s exactly the sort of competition you want in a back three and it’s a long old season, so to have the depth and quality is great for the team. I’ll relish that battle and it’s always what brings out the best in me.”
On the prospect of playing in a new league, he added: “I’ve always wanted to play in the Premiership. It’s one of the best leagues going and to have the opportunity of joining one of the best teams in England and Europe now is something I wanted to grab with both hands.
“I’m only 28 and still have a lot to offer. I bring size and speed and I’ve got a lot of power. With the experience I’ve got of playing in a lot of big games, I’m looking to bring that out and win things at the Chiefs. Obviously they are coming right off another good season, they were unlucky not to win the title again last season, but already you can see everyone at the club is determined to get back on top again.”
Cuthbert also revealed that he had to weigh up waiting in Wales in the hope of reaching 50 international caps, but instead decided the time was right to move on, which he is pleased he did.
“Reaching 50 caps was obviously in the back of my mind, but I just needed a change and when the opportunity came up at Exeter it was perfect. They’d been tracking me for a quite a while and I first spoke to Rob Baxter and Ali Hepher a couple of years ago, so if a top club like this is looking at you and they feel you’ve got something to offer, it gives you a lot of confidence,” he continued.
“Tomas Francis is down here already and I’ve spoken to other guys like Damian Welch, Ceri Sweeney and Tom James, all of whom have been at Exeter in the past. They couldn’t speak highly enough of the places it’s ticked every box so far.
“It’s different to what I’ve been used to at Cardiff, it’s a far bigger organisation and the way they go about things is probably on another level, but I’ve settled in well and I know it’s a club that’s pushing for honours.”