Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter has again gone ‘Down Under’ in his pursuit of adding new talent for the 2016/17 season.
Having already recruited experienced Australian international prop Greg Holmes from the Queensland Reds, now Baxter is adding another Wallaby to the club’s playing roster with the acquisition of Dave Dennis from the NSW Waratahs.
The all-action forward, who is equally at home either at lock or in the back-row, has penned a three-year deal with the Aviva Premiership club.
The arrival of Dennis, who has been capped 18 times by the Wallabies, is yet another significant addition to the Chiefs ranks and comes not long after the arrivals of Holmes and Bath’s talented back Ollie Devoto.
A team-mate of former Chiefs skipper Dean Mumm in Sydney, the 30-year-old has admitted that Mumm had done a fantastic job in helping to sell the Devon club to the 6ft 4in, 113kg forward.
"Dean was a great sales rep for you guys," joked Dennis. "Speaking to him he had nothing but positive things to say about the Chiefs and his time over in England. He told me a lot of about the history of the club and the direction the Chiefs were heading in.
"He also mentioned about how the club had a great academy system and how they had brought through a lot of the guys who are now starting regularly each week. I think that’s important in any club to have local guys coming through and it’s something we have done here at the Waratahs."
Dennis – who has played all his senior rugby for the Waratahs, including skippering the Aussie outfit, – made his debut back in 2007 and has already notched up over 90 Super Rugby appearances for the club.
Full of praise for his time with the Waratahs, the opportunity to tackle a new challenge overseas was one he and his family were keen to take on and the Chiefs offer the perfect opportunity for him.
"I’m really looking forward to the move," he added. "I’ve had an unbelievable time with the Waratahs and I owe them so much for what I’ve done in terms of my career. It’s a fantastic club and I’ve no doubt it will continue to flourish in the future.
"The opportunity, however, to try something new in Exeter was one I was wanted to do and having spoke to a lot of people about the Chiefs, all of them have been very positive and told me it will be a great move for me.
"Each year they seem to get better and better in terms of results and performances and the draw of playing a different style over in England was something I wanted to try.
"As a player you want to keep challenging yourself in different environments and that will certainly be the case over there."