Junior relishing Chiefs test

Samoan relishing top flight challenge

Last Updated: 18/08/10 11:53am

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Poluleuligaga: Pre-season excitement

Poluleuligaga: Pre-season excitement

Sky Bet

Samoan international Junior Poluleuligaga is relishing the challenge of helping Aviva Premiership new boys Exeter Chiefs establish themselves in the top flight.

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The Chiefs made the experienced 29-year-old their 11th signing of the close season as they continue to strengthen their squad ahead of the new campaign.

Auckland-born scrum-half Poluleuligaga - more commonly known as Polu - heads to Sandy Park following spells previously with Waikato Chiefs, North Harbour and Bay of Plenty in New Zealand, as well as short stints at Toulon and Harlequins.

"I am looking forward to playing with the Chiefs in the Premiership," he said.

"I had a short stint with Harlequins a few years ago, so it's not entirely new to me, but coming over here is really exciting."

Excitement

Having only landed in the UK on Sunday afternoon, head coach Rob Baxter wasted little time in getting his latest addition onto the training paddock and mixing with his new team-mates.

"I'm still only settling in, but the club have been really good and they've got me a place for me and my family," added Poluleuligaga.

"I didn't know a great deal about the Chiefs before I came here. I knew they had been playing in the second division for quite a while - and that they were always trying to achieve their goal of getting into the Premiership. Now they've done it, there is a lot of excitement about the place."

With international colleagues Chad Slade and Garrick Cowley already in the Chiefs ranks, Poluleuligaga admits it was nice to have a few familiar faces around the changing room on his arrival.

He continued: "It definitely helps that I have a few guys from back home here already. They've all been helpful - as has everyone - and they have made the transition for me a lot easier.

Daunting

"Exeter seems a nice place and stadium is really impressive. It's a real professional set-up, the field looks in good nick, the gym is good and the coaching staff and players in general, they are all good guys and everybody seems ready to make that step up."

Exeter kick off the 2010-11 campaign at home to Gloucester on September 4 before a daunting trip to Welford Road the following week.

"It's a tough start for us but I think it will be good for Exeter to play the likes of those teams early on because it will give us a good idea of where we are," Polu added.

"Personally, I hope to bring something different to the side, but also I hope to bring my experience as well. I've been around for a while, played for a few teams around the world, so I have a lot of experience and leadership to bring to the team. Also my enthusiasm, as I said, I am really excited to be here at Exeter.

"It's an exciting time to come to the club and I guess it's made me even more hungry to come and play. The Chiefs have offered me a contract and now I am just determined to repay that faith they have shown in me."

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