With an Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month award on his mantelpiece and an early title charge taking shape, Thomas Waldrom admits life at Exeter Chiefs could hardly have started better.
Waldrom arrived at Sandy Park this summer after four years with perennial play-off contenders Leicester Tigers, looking for a fresh challenge.
And in the upwardly-mobile Chiefs that is exactly what he has found, the New-Zealand born No.8 leading the league’s try-scoring charts with seven as Rob Baxter’s side take their place alongside Northampton Saints and Bath Rugby in an early runaway trio.
They also sit atop their European Rugby Challenge Cup pool as well as making a strong start to their LV= Cup title defence and Waldrom – affectionately known as ‘The Tank’ – has been right at the heart of it.
“I don’t think it could have gone any better than it has done so far,” he said. “I’m very pleased but we have got some big games coming up, which I’m really looking forward to as well.
“We’ve all set goals but we want to keep them in house. We know what we want to achieve to have a successful season.
“Where we are in the table, you want to stay there but it’s all in our hands and we want to make sure that we’re right up there.
“It’s about what we do on the field and what we control in training weeks that is going to decide whether we stay there or not.
“It’s a great chance that we are looking forward to doing over the next 12 or 14 rounds.”
Waldrom saw off the challenge of Dan Braid and Jonathan Joseph to join Bath duo Kyle Eastmond and Semesa Rokoduguni as this season’s third Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month, claiming the November gong.
But with Braid’s Sale Sharks and Joseph’s Bath on the agenda before the turn of the year, Waldrom insists there is still plenty left to achieve in December.
“If you’re off ten or 15 per cent, you get called out,” he added.
“Over Christmas time the training is probably not as much, with shorter weeks, so we know we have got to do our homework early on in the week to get everything right in these big games.
“We are trying to stamp our mark on each game and I think we are doing that. We want to make it hard for teams when they come and play against us to get any points out of us.”
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