Wales and Lions wing Alex Cuthbert has signed for the Premiership Champions.
Cuthbert will move to Exeter from Cardiff Blues this summer ahead of the 2018/19 Premiership season.
The 47-times-capped Welsh international has spent the last seven seasons with the Blues, having impressed in both sevens and fifteens during his time with the region. The giant winger has one test cap for the British and Irish Lions against Australia in 2013 but has struggled to hit the same form over the last few years.
Cuthbert will further bolster the impressive squad Rob Baxter has built in Devon and will be competing with the likes of Olly Woodburn, James Short and Lachlan Turner for a starting role.
At 6ft6" and 106kg, Cuthbert will be adding an extra dimension to the Chiefs' backline. An exciting prospect for Chiefs’ fans and the neutral, when the Welshman is on form, he can cause defences no end of problems.
Exeter will be looking to take the next step in the Champions Cup next season and if Cuthbert can emulate the return to form of fellow countryman Richard Hibbard at Gloucester, could go some way to helping the Devonians claim European glory.
“I’m very excited about the move,” said Cuthbert. “I’ve played all of my rugby in Wales and I’ve enjoyed some fantastic times over the years, but I feel I’m at a stage in my career where I have to try something different and the challenge of going to Exeter and trying to prove myself in a new environment at the Chiefs is something that really appeals to me.
“Sitting down with Rob [Baxter] and Ali [Hepher] I liked what they had to say and where they said the club was looking to go in the future. Like a lot of people, I’ve watched how the Chiefs have not only developed into a force within the English game, but also in Europe as well over the last few years.
“They are champions of England at the moment, they are going very well again this season, and when you look at the squad they have down there, you can see it’s got a lot of talent within it and one which wants to really achieve things together.”
Cuthbert continued: “Speaking to people who know the club, they’ve all spoken positively about the place and the culture that exists amongst the players. As I said, it’s an exciting move for me, but also one in which I genuinely think I can get better with.
“I still feel at my age I have a lot to offer and by moving to Exeter, hopefully the coaches down there can help bring even more out in my game.”
“It’s a tough league, every week it’s like a cup final,” added Cuthbert. “Playing in big games and in front of sell-out crowds, you can only get thrive of situations like that as a player. Yes, it’s going to be a new and different challenge to what I’ve been used to in the past, but I do think it will help to bring the best out in me.”
Before moving to Sandy Park, however, Cuthbert is keen to ensure he finishes his time with the Blues on a high note and says he’s determined to play his part in a strong end to the season.
“I’ll forever be grateful to the Blues for the opportunities they have given me,” continued Cuthbert. “It’s been a tough decision for me to make in terms of my future, but the time is right for me to try something new with the Chiefs.”