Tuesday 22 January 2019

Alex Cuthbert joins Exeter Chiefs to end 2019 Rugby World Cup hopes and his Wales career

Wales star Alex Cuthbert
Wales star Alex Cuthbert
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Aviva Premiership champions Exeter Chiefs have announced the signing of Wales wing Alex Cuthbert on a three-year deal.

Cuthbert, who toured Australia with the British and Irish Lions in 2013, will complete his move to Sandy Park from Cardiff Blues at the end of the season.

The move means the 27-year-old will no longer be available for Wales selection due to new rules announced last year.

Cuthbert has 47 caps for his country, 13 short of the 60 needed to keep him eligible following his move away from Wales.

After seven years with the Blues, Cuthbert is looking forward to a new challenge.

He said: "I'm very excited about the move. 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 becomes Exeter rugby director Rob Baxter's first signing for the 2018/19 campaign.

Baxter said: "We have actually been looking at Alex for a few years. Initially we looked at him when he was first breaking into top-flight rugby and he's someone who we have been tracking for some time.

"At this stage, he is a player who is looking for a new challenge and that's the important thing to us."

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