Waldrom Out To Impress
26th June 2014
... Comments

The England international is just days into his new life in Devon having completed a summer move from Aviva Premiership rivals Leicester Tigers.

But already the experienced 31-year-old is getting stuck into the rigours of pre-season as he looks to make his mark here in the Westcountry.

Waldrom, who as well as the Tigers has previously featured for Super Rugby sides Crusaders and Hurricanes, knows the importance of laying a solid foundation ahead of the new season - and says the work put in now by himself and his new team-mates will be key to Exeter's seasonal plans.

“You have to turn up in pre-season and put your best foot forward,” said Waldrom. “Whoever does that will get the opportunities. It’s about working hard and myself, being new to the team, will have to do a lot more homework to get up to speed and make sure I know everything to give myself the best shot.”

After four seasons with the Tigers - a period which saw him win the Premiership title, LV= Cup and four international caps - Waldrom admits he relishing the new challenge that awaits him at Sandy Park.

His big-game temperament, as well as experience of playing at the highest level, are certainly key facets he brings to an Exeter squad, which last season saw the growing emergence of a number of highly-rated youngsters, but at the same time saw vast experience leave with the retirement of players such as Tom Hayes, James Hanks, Jason Shoemark and Chris Whitehead.

“I’ll bring a bit of an older head, a bit of experience,” said Waldrom. “I’ve been around and played some rugby now with the Tigers and at international level so I’ve experienced a lot of rugby all around the world.

“Hopefully I can adapt to the way they play and just add as much experience as possible and leadership if required. The main thing is to go out there and just enjoy it, and make sure the young guys enjoy it as well.”

From afar Waldrom has seen the rise of Exeter's young guns in recent times and now he is ready to link up with them on a more permanent basis.

The Kiwi-born forward puts that rise down to the work the coaches do with the players, but thinks they will all have to make the most of any chance they are given next season.

“It’s a credit to all the coaches and the schoolwork they do down here to make sure that we make the right decisions in those pressure situations when they do arrive this year,” he said. “If they (the youngsters) get a chance they have to take it with both hands. That goes for everyone – whoever puts the shirt on has to go out and do the job the coaches want us to do.”

And although it's been a relatively easy introduction for all the players into pre-season, Waldrom knows the next few weeks will only get tougher as the build-up to the 2014/15 campaign draws ever nearer.

“It’s going to get a lot harder, we were only out there playing some small-sided games on Monday,” he added. “It’s enjoyable to run around and see how much skill is going on here and what they’re trying to build with all the young kids. It’s something I’m really looking forward to and hopefully I can add something to it as well.”

The majority of the Chiefs squad have already settled back into pre-season life this week and others are set to follow in the coming days as they recover from recent exertions on the international stage.

Indeed, having come up against the Chiefs several times in the past, Waldrom knows the way they are viewed by opposition teams. He hopes they can build on that in the 2014/15 campaign.

“Everyone knows when they come against the Chiefs it’s a tough, physical game and you’ve got to work to beat the Chiefs,” he said. “All we can do is work hard and try to achieve the goals we set out early on in the year.”

About the Author

Dave B

Member since: 10th July 2012

Hi, I am Dave, I run thebestof Exeter along with my colleagues. If you want to promote your business or event, get in touch with us on 01392 349 130.

Popular Categories