LATEST addition Romana Graham cannot wait to get stuck into life with Exeter Chiefs after pitching up at Sandy Park.
The lock completed his move from New Zealand outfit Waikato and arrived in Devon at the end of last week.
He is the seventh signing made by head coach Rob Baxter ahead of the new campaign, which starts with a trip to Northampton a week on Saturday.
Now that he is part of the squad, and has been training with his new teammates since they returned to duty on Tuesday, 6ft 7ins tall Graham is eager to get stuck in.
“The style of game over here is definitely a bit different to that of back home, but I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it all,” the former New Zealand Maori said.
“I’ve watched some highlights of games and there are some big boys over here. It’s more forward-orientated for sure, but I’m not going to complain about that too much, I just want to get stuck into the action.”
The 27-year-old, who has agreed a one-year deal, was brought in by Baxter late in pre-season after fellow lock James Hanks broke his collarbone in training.
With former skipper Tom Hayes returning from a back operation, Baxter was keen to sign cover for the likes of Dean Mumm and Damian Welch.
And Graham is looking forward to testing himself in the Aviva Premiership.
“I’m pretty excited to be here. It should be a good challenge ahead and one that I’m really looking forward to,” he said.
“I’ve been at Hamilton all my life playing rugby, so I thought it would be a good change to try something different and come over here.”
Graham, who tips the scales to 18st 6lbs, has been doing his homework since the deal with Exeter was finalised.
That saw him reviewing footage of the Chiefs’ matches and he thinks the switch could see him improve as a player.
“I’ll be honest, I didn’t know too much about Exeter or the club before I came over here, but ever since we’ve sorted the move I’ve been looking on the computer at a few highlights and looking up things around the area and it all looks a pretty exciting place,” he said.
“Right now, though, I just want to get myself up and running and involved with the team.
“Coming over here, as I said, is a whole new challenge for me, but I think it will be good for my game.
“Obviously I want to try and improve my game a lot more whilst I’m here, but at the same time I also want to help the club and the team all I can.”