Cheetahs and former Junior Springbok flank Aidon Davis will be joining English Premiership side Exeter Chiefs from the start of the 2022-23 season.
A former South African Schools and Junior Springbok loose forward, Davis has played the majority of his rugby in his native homeland, but had a two-year stint in France, where he played for both Toulon and Bayonne.
Davis, who represented South Africa at the World Rugby Junior Rugby World Championships in 2013 and 2014, played for the Eastern Province Kings and also represented the Southern Kings in Super Rugby before heading to Europe.
After returning from Europe in 2018, Davis has featured for the Cheetahs in the PRO14 and Currie Cup, underlining his credentials as a hard-working forward who is not afraid of the physical demands of the modern-day game.
“I can’t wait to be part of the Chiefs,” said Davis. “I’ve been watching them for quite a while, competing in the Premiership and the Heineken Cup, so it’s a great move for me.
“It will be my first taste of playing in England, but from what I have seen and chatting with Rob [Baxter] about the whole move, it’s something that really excites me. The Premiership and the Heineken Cup are probably the best competitions in the world right now, so it’ll be good to challenge myself in that environment.”
At 1.91m and 110kg, Davis offers some sizeable bulk to the much-vaunted Chiefs pack, which includes fellow South Africans Jannes Kirsten and Jacques Vermeulen, both of whom Davis has played with in the past at youth level.
“I know Jannes and Jacques well, so it will be good to have a few friendly faces in camp when I arrive,” he added. “The game in England, though, is a lot about physicality and putting yourself about on the pitch, so that really suits my game.
“That said, I like the way the Chiefs play. They really like to go through the phases and grind teams down. That doesn’t tend to happen too much over here, so I think going into another team and playing with different tactics, it will really help to develop my game even further.”
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