11th June 2015
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The 25-year-old Namibian was initially brought to Sandy Park last November following as injury cover for compatriot Chrysander Botha, who was ruled out for much of the campaign after breaking his leg whilst away on international duty.


However, McGuigan quickly settled to life in the Westcountry and by the end of the season had accrued 17 appearances in all competitions, scoring three tries in the process.


Used predominantly at full-back, McGuigan also featured both on the wing and in the centre and his versatility is an asset Baxter is keen to utilise moving forward.


“Byron has some great qualities,” said the Exeter head coach. “He is a great competitor who really enjoys being at the club. He has really bought into all the elements of our culture and work ethic and he is a great team-mate and has done well for us every time he has stepped on to a rugby field.


“Sometimes we have put him in some pretty difficult situations. He came to us relatively late and has had to learn a lot quite quickly, but I think he has done really well. All of the qualities he has shown mean we want him to stay around for a bit longer.”


Earlier this week Baxter indicated he felt that he was still somewhat light in terms of his back division options, so McGuigan’s decision to stay for the 2015/16 campaign will go someway to easing any fears the Chiefs leader had ahead of next term


“I am really pleased for him and pleased for us – it works well for both parties and I hope he can continue to develop his qualities and the way he is playing,” continued Baxter. 


“He has done some good things for us; he fitted in very well, very quickly and he expressed an interest in staying early.


“He was initially contracted to go back to New Zealand to carry on playing, so there was a bit to sort out on that front. However, that is done now and I’m looking forward to him taking part in a full pre-season.”


Although McGuigan showed plenty of his skill, pace and finishing qualities during last season, Baxter still feels the former Glasgow Warriors ace has more in his locker to unearth.


He added: “I think there is more to come from him. We have seen him do some good things, particularly in the LV= Cup and Challenge Cup, and I think he is improving.  He is improving working with Ali [Hepher] in terms of what we want him to do and his basic skills, so that’s a good sign.”


With McGuigan on board, Botha fit and raring to go once more, plus the likes of Jack Nowell, Phil Dollman and Max Bodilly all capable of filling the full-back role, competition for places in the Chiefs side is sure to be intense next season.


“It shows the depth we have in our squad and it works really well for us,” said Baxter. “We have various combinations of backs that are of a very high quality now.


“You have to look at various combinations, while we have Chrysander Botha back fit so he will be challenging too. We have some real quality, and Byron adds depth in more than one position. It is going to be great to watch them battle it out.”

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Dave B

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