Exeter Chiefs have announced the signing of South African prop Maks van Dyk. The prop comes in largely to cover the exodus of tight-head props from Exeter to international duty.
Rob Baxter’s men find themselves without Harry Williams and Tomas Francis for the upcoming Autumn Nations Cup. As a result, van Dyk joins Exeter after a short stint at Harlequins at the end of last year to cover the prop position.
Exeter bolster front-row options
The Premiership and Champions Cup champions have taken the decision to move quickly to bring in van Dyk. The South African prop has spent time at Sharks, Cheetahs, and Griquas in South African. Then more recently Leinster, Toulouse followed by Harlequins.
Van Dyk also South Africa at Under-20s level, helping them to lift the IRB Junior World Championship in 2012.
The prop said that joining Exeter ” is a big opportunity for me to not only join a great club but at the same time improve my own game”.
Van Dyk went onto point out his experience of the Premiership would be invaluable in this move. He said, “having been at Harlequins I do have an idea of what to expect. It’s going to be tough, it’s going to be physical, but that is what you kind of expect at this level”.
Rob Baxter excited about new signing
Rob Baxter noted the importance of signing a tight-head prop for the upcoming season given their international commitments. He pointed out that Exeter “some great young talent coming through in the shape of Marcus Street and Alfie Petch”.
However, he went onto note that the number of games in the company weeks would require more depth. He said, “we felt it would be a big ask on those guys to play 10+ games on the bounce”.
Baxter went onto extol the virtues of his new signing describing van Dyk as a “strong ball-carrier, he’s quite light on his feet for a prop, and some of those key strengths you crave from a prop, he has a lot of those qualities already”.
“Like every player, we’ve had a good look at him and we like what we see”
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) November 4, 2020
Baxter also feels that van Dyk has room to grow whilst at the club. He said, “there are areas to his game that we feel we can improve on, but when you look at the whole package he brings, he ticks a lot of boxes”.
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