Kai Horstmann’s says his hunger to succeed within the game was a key factor in his decision to extend his stay with the Exeter Chiefs for a further year.
Brought to Devon during the summer of 2012 by head coach Rob Baxter, the experienced back-row forward has established himself as leading figure within the club following his move from top flight rivals Worcester Warriors.
Having chalked up just over 60 first team appearances for the Chiefs in all competitions, the 34-year-old will be hoping to add to that tally over the duration of his new contract.
"I’m extremely excited to be here another year," said Horstmann. "I think when you have the hunger there everything, as long as your body can hold up to it, will just carry on. I love playing here, I love being part of this club and I want to be part of where it is going in the future. For me, I consider myself very proud when I get up in the morning to do what I do."
With the Chiefs currently second in the Aviva Premiership and also in the last eight of the European Champions Cup, Harare-born Horstmann insists the hunger that exists within the club is helping to drive the Chiefs forward on all fronts.
"How we finished last year was a real confidence booster to us as a squad," he added. "It really helped accelerate us in terms of our development and our hunger. We felt we should have been top four last year, but it’s given us a great deal of confidence going into this season.
"Also, the fact we have been playing in the Premiership long enough now to know what it takes to win games, we know we are prepared to give that every week. As I said, there is a huge amount of excitement around the place at the moment, so we need to make sure we realise what we are creating and that we keep going after it.
"The people involved in the club, right the way through from top to bottom, are all part of what makes the club so special. Performances don’t just happen on the weekend, it’s right across the board and everyone has to take a huge amount of credit for that. It’s a good fair club and it makes you feel special being part of it."
Horstmann’s own desire to prove his worth, particularly in a back-row battle that is brimming with high quality, he says was another key factor in his decision to sign on once more.
"You have to take real pride in what you do," he said. "I’m lucky to get paid to play professional rugby and I want to be able to go home at night and say I put in a real good job and have some satisfaction from how I prepared that day and how I worked that day. If you don’t do that, then you have to look elsewhere, but for me it’s about self-satisfaction. If people see me and say he’s working and grafting hard, then that has to be a positive.
"In any squad the back-row is usually one of the most competitive areas, so it’s always going to be tough. Of course I want to be playing more, but you crack on, you work hard and hopefully you get your rewards on the back of that. It has been good to be involved in the last few weeks and hopefully I’ll get some more game time in the next few weeks."