Fixtures - Top Bar

Baxter welcomes McGuigan to the Chiefs

McGuigan-Baxter

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter says he is excited at what newcomer Byron McGuigan can bring to the party after the 25-year-old completed his move to the Aviva Premiership club on Saturday.

The Namibian-born ace, who has penned a contract until the end of the season with the Chiefs, jetted into Sandy Park ahead of Exeter’s LV= Cup win over Gloucester on Saturday and will offer an additional option to the Devon club with the Premiership campaign set to return in less than a fortnight.

Having previously featured for Border Bulldogs and Glasgow Warriors, the versatile back has more recently been featuring for the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand’s ITM Cup and arrives at Sandy Park ready to have a crack at top level rugby in England.

Commenting on his new arrival, Baxter said: “Everyone’s been aware we’ve felt we were one back light in our squad since the start of the season. I’ve said since the start of the year that there was a space there and we’ve been keeping our eye on the situation and which players were becoming available.

“Byron’s been playing in the ITM Cup, so it was nice to be able to watch him playing and keep an eye on him when we knew he was available. We’ve been able to watch four or five games in the past week, which makes it easier for you to recruit a guy who’s up to speed at this time of year.

“We’ve felt we’ve been one back light and it hasn’t seemed to take many injuries in our backline for us to get a little bit bare, with the fact you’re dealing with three competitions one on top of the other you can suddenly look a bit stretched.

“We know he’s a good player, we played against him twice when he played for Glasgow last year when he played 13. He’s been playing in the ITM Cup at 15, he can play on the wing, so there’s a lot of versatility there which gives us a lot of cover in the squad but we want more from him – we want him to come here and fully contest for a starting berth.

“He should get up to speed pretty quickly because he’s match ready, so as soon as we can get some training into him we’ll see how things go. It’s the same for any player, they come in and they have got to fight for their spot. If he shows the right qualities he’ll get game time.”

With summer signing Chrysander Botha set to be away on international duty with Namibia later this month.

McGuigan’s arrival is not only timely for the Chiefs, but offers an experienced option within the Exeter back division.

“With what we’re looking for within the squad, his versatility was very important,” added Baxter. “He’s got a turn of pace, is a solid defender and he likes to make things happen. That’s the most important thing.

“His basic skill set is very good, now it’s up to him to settle in to what we do here at Exeter Chiefs and I know Ricky and Ali are looking forward to working with him and we can see what he can bring.

“He’s got to be an enthusiastic guy. We came to the final agreement on his contract less than 48 hours ago and he turned up yesterday, so within 24 hours of us agreeing everything he’s on a plane from South Africa and he’s here and he’s taking part in his first training session. That shows you someone who’s keen to get involved with things and is desperate to play some rugby, and those are qualities you should look for in players.”

Baxter continued:  “He’s got a variety of experience, both in the Rabo and the ITM Cup. A lot of qualities he’s got we feel very comfortable with.

“It’s not a signing where we expect him to be ripping up trees and starting for 80 minutes for every week in the first team. What we’ve seen are some good qualities, now what we want to see are some good qualities within our training set up and within our systems then the rest is up to him. We’ve got a lot of players here who have come here and decided to work very hard and they’re playing a lot of rugby and being very successful for us, Byron’s got exactly the same opportunity.”

Latest News

Matt Hopper: Harlequins ready for Stade Francais cup final

Harlequins are gearing up for a ‘cup final’ when they visit France in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, but centre…

Harlequins v Saracens - Aviva Premiership

Chris Harris desperate to kick on after Newcastle Falcons return

Newcastle Falcons’ narrow European Rugby Challenge Cup loss to Grenoble may have dashed their hopes of making it through to…

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Gloucester Rugby name side for final European pool game against Bayonne

With a home quarter-final spot resting on the result, Gloucester Rugby make seven changes for the visit of Aviron Bayonnais…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Wasps team to travel to Parma to play Zebre Rugby

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his squad to travel to Parma, for Wasps’ final match in the Champions…

Wasps v Toulouse - European Rugby Champions Cup

Donncha O’Callaghan to lead Worcester Warriors against Russians

Donncha O’Callaghan will lead Warriors in their final European Challenge Cup game of the 2016/17 campaign against Enisei-STM at Sixways…

Harlequins v Worcester Warriors - Aviva Premiership

Bath Rugby name strong side for final European pool game

Bath Rugby have named a strong team to face Pau in the final pool game of the European Rugby Challenge…

Semesa Rokoduguni

Leicester Tigers team news for Champions Cup

Jack Roberts and Luke Hamilton are recalled to the Leicester Tigers starting line-up for the European Champions Cup fixture against…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Exeter Chiefs side to face ASM Clermont Auvergne

Whether history repeats itself for Exeter Chiefs in the European Champions Cup only time will tell, but head coach Rob…

Michele Campagnaro scored twice in Exeter Chiefs' 31-19 win over Ulster in Round 5.

Bristol Rugby name team for Cardiff Blues clash

Bristol Rugby round off their European Challenge Cup campaign with a visit to Cardiff Blues on Saturday (3pm KO). Head…

tusipisibri16sb1111

Newcastle Falcons team to face Ospreys

Newcastle Falcons have named their team for Saturday’s European Challenge Cup visit of unbeaten group leaders Ospreys, club captain Will…

Will Welch

Saracens name team to face Toulon

Saracens have named their side to face Toulon for Saturday’s round six European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 3 clash at…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Sale Sharks Name Team To Take On Scarlets

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Scarlets in Round Six of the European Rugby Champions Cup at…

willaddisonbatsal1617sb1111

Harlequins team to play Stade Francais

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Stade Francais in Round 6 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup at the…

James Horwill

Eddie Jones has announced his England squad ahead of the 2017 RBS 6 Nations

The 34-man squad will train in Portugal between 22 – 27 January before assembling at Pennyhill Park to prepare for…

Maro Itoje missed out on the autumn internationals with a fractured hand.

Tom Arscott statement

Sale Sharks have today issued the following statement on Tom Arscott.  Sale Sharks have today terminated the contract of Tom…

BARNET, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Owen Farrell of Saracens and Tom Arscott of Sale Sharks during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Saracens and Sale Sharks at Allianz Park on December 10, 2016 in Barnet, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Jack O’Connell eyeing Bristol Rugby momentum from European finale

Qualification for the European Rugby Challenge Cup knockout stages may be beyond Bristol Rugby but Jack O’Connell claims they are…

666710651_tm_0740_96dd8701c3a7992af96ab9d019ac86f2.jpg

Fixture Change – Wasps v Gloucester Rugby

Premiership Rugby can confirm that the kick-off time for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 16 Wasps v Gloucester Rugby fixture…

Aviva Premiership ball

Harlequins Foundation reach £100,000 Great Ormond Street Hospital target

The Harlequins Foundation is today (Thursday 19th January) pleased to announce that it has succeeded in raising £100,000 for Great…

Harlequins celebrate

Northampton Saints team news versus Montpellier

The Northampton Saints team has been announced for Friday’s European Rugby Champions Cup clash with Montpellier. An attacking line-up has…

georgenorthnortbri17sb

Leicester Tigers prove big draw at Welford Road

Leicester Tigers attendances have topped 100,000 over the last four home games at Welford Road. The best-supported team in English…

Adam Thompstone