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Mumm predicts fellow Aussies to prosper at Chiefs

Dean Mumm is backing fellow Aussies Dave Dennis and Greg Holmes to make a big impact when they arrive at Exeter Chiefs in the coming weeks.

Following in the stud marks of the 32-year-old, who enjoyed a stellar three-year spell at Sandy Park, the Wallabies duo are two of three new faces head coach Rob Baxter is bringing to Sandy Park ahead of the 2016/17 season.

And having played alongside both of Exeter’s new recruits, the former Chiefs skipper is perfectly positioned to offer the perfect insight into what the two highly-rated forwards can bring to the Devon club.

"I’ve played club rugby with Denno since we were 18, so I’ve known him a long time," said Mumm. "He’s a quality individual and a great leader here at the Waratahs. What he offers on and off the field is outstanding and I’ve no doubt he will bring those strengths to the Chiefs.

"Equally, Greg is another top player and he’s shown that now for a number of years, both at club level and at Test level. Greg moving to Exeter is a great move for him and I think it will only add competition to what is a very competitive battle for the tight-head spot."

The arrival of the duo will further boost what is already a healthy Aussie contingent within the Chiefs ranks. Ben White, Ollie Atkins, Mitch Lees and Julian Salvi were all joined last season by Lachie Turner, another player who was given a glowing endorsement of the club by Mumm prior to his arrival.

Mumm plays down the role of Exeter’s ‘chief salesman’ when quizzed on the matter, insisting it’s more of Baxter’s recruitment policy rather than his own input which is helping to attract such talent.

"There are a few more Australians at the place, which is pretty good," added Mumm, who made 71 appearances and scored 13 tries following his switch in 2012.

"The boys are doing well over there, but it’s nothing to do with me. It’s more about Rob’s recruitment and what he thinks they can add and bring to the culture. Hopefully both Dave and Greg can add there bit to it all and make the team go even further."

Certainly Mumm played his part in the rise of the Chiefs, leading them to LV= Cup glory in 2014, as well as helping forge them as one of the growing forces within the English and European game.

The Auckland-born forward looks back fondly on his spell in Devon, stating: "My time at the Chiefs really re-invigorated me and my love of rugby. Moving over was a big decision for me and Sarah, but it could not have worked out any better than it did.

"The Chiefs are a fantastic club – on and off the field – and I can’t speak highly enough of the place. Even now I’m looking out for the results every week and watching from afar as much as I can.

"I remember for the Premiership final I was up early and wide awake watching it all and I even woke up Sarah when we got to within four points. I was riding the wave every step of the wave and I’m excited to see what the club do and how they can continue to go up and up."

At the same time, Mumm has relished his second stint with the Waratahs and life in Sydney.

"I’ve enjoyed being back here in Sydney and enjoying everything with my family," he continued. "It’s nice to be home and Sydney is a pretty special place to live."

Since returning back ‘Down Under’ Mumm has not only re-established himself as a key figure within the Waratahs set-up, but he has worked his way back into the Australian Test squad, featuring not only at last year’s Rugby World Cup, but also the recent summer series against England.

Although the recent series ended in a dismal 3-0 loss for the Wallabies, Mumm said it was good to catch up with former team-mates Luke Cowan-Dickie, Jack Nowell and Henry Slade, all of whom formed part of Eddie Jones’ touring party.

"England played well, there is no doubt about that," said Mumm. "They played differently in all three test matches and they got results in all three games. For me that’s the mark of a quality side. To go down 3-0 is tough, but you have to give credit where it’s due.

"I knew from my time over in England that there was a real depth of talent coming through and we’ve seen that on this latest tour. Luckily I got to play alongside the likes of Dickey, Nowellsy and Sladey on quite a few occasions, including my first-ever A League appearance for the Chiefs, and I know how good they are.

"For those guys it’s been a terrific year for them, both at club level and now international level. And behind them the club are also bringing through even more guys, although I was sad to see Mitch switch his allegiance and put a Red Rose on!

"English rugby, though, is doing well and it’s good to see those guys making the most of the opportunities."
 

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