Former Brumbies, Bath, Leicester Tigers and Exeter openside Julian Salvi has taken up a role within the Chiefs coaching ranks following his retirement last month, taking charge of the Premiership finalist’s defensive systems.
Despite being offered the chance to continue his time in Devon as a player, the 32-year-old took the decision to grab this opportunity while it was available.
Salvi admitted he felt he probably could have continued playing, but that opportunities such as these do not come along often and the former Brumbies breakdown expert felt it was an appropriate time to move on from his playing days.
Exeter Director of Rugby Rob Baxter was full of praise for Salvi earlier today, fully backing the Australian to add a new found energy to the squad.
“It’s fantastic that Jules is still going to be a part of the club moving forward,” said Baxter. “He’s been a very popular member of the squad over the past few years and to have someone of his experience and his character remain within the team, it’s a good fit all round for us.”
Having worked closely with Salvi since his arrival from Leicester Tigers during the summer of 2015, Baxter has seen first-hand how the aspiring coach has made significant steps forward in terms of his game development.
“As a side we want to keep improving and do that you have to be able to give players detailed feedback as often as they want it,” explained Baxter. “You also need to be working on aspects of your game with real energy and enthusiasm as much as you can.
“The whole process and the business of what is Exeter Chiefs is increasing all the time, so from my own position and that of the other coaches, we actually have to be careful that we don’t spread ourselves too thinly across things. Part of the reason of bringing Jules into the group is that we want to focus even more on improving the quality of the team, both collectively and individually.
“What I like about watching Jules and with the work he has done down at Plymouth, especially working with some of our younger players, is that we believe he can add not only an element of individual coaching, but also group and collective coaching, as well as adding a vibrancy about how we want to defend and work, especially around the breakdown area and in our defence, because that’s still an area we can always look to improve.”
“We’ll expect Jules to dive in from day one,” continued Baxter. “He’s 100 per cent part of the coaching team now, so he has a role to perform and we’ll expect him to work just as hard as all the other coaches here. From my perspective, we won’t want to shake up our defensive systems or how we defend too much, but we do want to improve and that will be part of his role.
“Jules is very much up to speed on how we defend already, but he also knows we need to work on specific elements to push forward. I’ve no doubt he will be a great addition to our team.”
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