Tatupu joins Chiefs
Exeter to be next stop of much travelled Samoan's career
Last Updated: March 31, 2011 12:29pm
Tatupu: dual code international
Exeter have confirmed the signing of Samoan international centre Josh Tatupu for next season.
The 24-year-old has penned a two-year deal with the Devon club and will arrive from French Top 14 outfit Castres.
Set for his first taste of English rugby, Christchurch-born Tatupu says he is relishing the opportunity given to him by Exeter head coach Rob Baxter, who earlier this week confirmed the signings of prop Craig Mitchell and fly-half Myles Dorrian for the 2011/12 season.
Having initially honed his game by playing for Australian Rugby League outfit Melbourne Storm as a teenager, Tatupu has since switched to the 15-man game where he has since featured for the Super Rugby franchise Western Force, NPC for Otago and, more recently, with Castres.
"I'm really excited about this move and cannot wait to get over to Exeter," said Tatupu, who has been capped by Samoa at both league and union level.
"I've been over and had a good look at the set-up, which is great, and I had a decent chat with Rob about the direction of the club.
"I'll be honest I didn't know too much about Exeter before the move, but I know they've had a great season this year and that they are looking to build on that for next season."
Back in 2008 Tatupu got a taste of what to expect in the Aviva Premiership when he was part of the Western Force touring side, which tackled Newcastle Falcons, Northampton Saints, Saracens and Leicester Tigers in a series of friendlies.
"I know the English game is a lot more physical than what I am used to back home," he said.
"They also put a lot of emphasis on the set-piece and building off that, but for me this is another new challenge. This will be my first go at playing in England, but I hope to bring some of the qualities I have picked up from playing overseas to the Chiefs."