James Short says he is relishing the challenge that awaits him after today signing for Exeter Chiefs from Aviva Premiership rivals London Irish.
The 25-year-old winger is the latest recruit to arrive at Sandy Park following a busy summer of recruitment for Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter.
Signed on a one-year deal, Short – who has previously had spells with Saracens and Wasps, the latter during a loan spell during the 2013-14 season – is seen as a key addition to Exeter back division following the departures of Fetu’u Vainikolo and Tom James at the end of last season.
With over 70 top flight appearances, the talented back has already won the Premiership title with Saracens back in 2011, scoring the only try in the Twickenham final as the Londoners triumphed 22-18.
And his arrival in Devon is a timely boost for the Chiefs, who have already been hard at work building up to the new 2015-16 season.
Commenting on his move, Short said: “I’m excited about the move, it’s a new challenge for me, but one that I am very much looking forward to. Exeter are a great club, they have a great set-up and you only have to look at recent seasons to see they are a club who are on the rise.
“Even in that first year in the Premiership, you could see they were a force to be reckoned with. Each year they’ve got better and better and they were unlucky not to get into the play-offs last season.”
Having tackled his new club on numerous occasions in the past, Short says he is not only looking forward to being part of Exeter’s attacking options this term, but wants to be part of the hard-working Chiefs.
“They play a great style of rugby and having spoken to Rob [Baxter] he puts a great emphasis on the team working hard for one another,” he added. “Every time you play against them, you know you’re always going to get a tough, physical game.”
Short is also impressed by the make-up of his new club, both on and off the field, and believes they can build on what was a hugely encouraging last season.
He said: “The Chiefs have made some great signings this summer to what was already a very strong squad, I hope I can add my bit to it all. First and foremost, I just want to get down there, work hard during pre-season and show what I can bring to the team. I’ve not really set myself any goals as such, but I know what I can do and hopefully I can show that to the coaches.
“Playing in the Champions Cup will be great, obviously I got to experience the old Heineken Cup when I was with Saracens and it’s a great competition to be involved in. You know you’ll be playing against the very best teams in great stadiums, so it’s a great platform for any player to show what they can do at such a good level.”
And with Sandy Park sure to be packed out for those European ties and a number of Premiership encounters, Short cannot wait to soak up the big-match action at his new home.
“I know from playing at Sandy Park what a great atmosphere they get at the ground on match-days,” he continued. “Every time I’ve been there I’ve gone away thinking it’s one of the best in the league in terms of support and noise, so it will be great to have that kind of backing behind me.”