Rob Baxter admits he sees a lot of similarities in new signing Dave Dennis to that of former Exeter Chiefs skipper Dean Mumm.
It was back in 2012 that Baxter brought Australian international Mumm to Sandy Park from Super Rugby outfit NSW Waratahs.
Three years later and Mumm departed Sandy Park as somewhat of a club legend, having made quite an impression during his time in Devon with the Chiefs.
Now back in Sydney, Exeter’s former talisman – who helped lift the LV= Cup back in 2014 – has played his part in helping to persuade 30-year-old Dennis to follow a similar path to the Aviva Premiership club.
The talented forward, who is equally at home playing at lock or in the back-row, is Baxter’s third signing alongside compatriot Greg Holmes (Queensland Reds) and Bath playmaker Ollie Devoto in signing on for next season.
Joining the Chiefs on a three-year deal, Dennis is seen as another great bit of business from Baxter, who today has spoken of his delight at the Aussie international signing on.
"I’ve not made any secret of the fact that squad-wise we were probably a lock light this year, so we have been having a good look around," admitted the Chiefs head coach. "We’ve known Dave has been available for a little while and obviously we have had a good look at the way he plays; how he’s performed in the past and his leadership skills, and we think he will be a good fit for us.
"I’m not going to run away from the fact that Dean Mumm gave him a glowing reference as well because that kind of thing is very important for us.
"When you look at the make-up of our squad, he’s got the right experience we want to recruit and the right leadership qualities which will be important because we have got some young players within the squad that we need to bring through. At the same time, we have international players who will be with us and not be with us at certain times, so having that good core of quality players throughout the squad will be very important to us if we want to be at the right end of the table over an extended period."
Having studied Dennis closely in all facets of play, Baxter admits he sees plenty of similarities to that of Mumm, who returned back to the Waratahs last May,.
"Yes, there are lots of similarities with Dean, positional-wise they can both play lock or in the back-row," added Baxter. "They’ve both come from the Waratahs and, as I said, I’ve spoken to Dave, spoken to Dean, and they would have spoken themselves, and for me it’s a comfortable and very good fit.
"Personally, I am looking forward to working with Dave and seeing what he will bring to us. At the same time, a little bit like Dean, we feel we can get a bit more out of him. I wouldn’t want him to come over here just to see out time, I want him to cover over here, work with him and make him an even better player."