Sam Hidalgo-Clyne signs for Exeter Chiefs on a two-year deal

Former Edinburgh scrum-half has been an opportunity with English Premiership giants where he will team up with Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne has signed a two year deal with Exeter Chiefs. Image: David Gibson/Fotosport
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne has signed a two year deal with Exeter Chiefs. Image: David Gibson/Fotosport

THE peripatetic career of Scotland cap Sam Hidalgo-Cylne has taken another unexpected twist with the 26-year-old scrum-half headed to Sandy Park next season, where he will join up with Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray on the Exeter Chiefs playing roster.

The former Edinburgh man, who has had spells with the Scarlets, Harlequins (on loan), Racing 92 and Lyon since leaving the Scottish capital in the summer of 2018, has been recruited as a replacement for departing Australian scrum-half Nic White.

Hidalgo-Clyne will compete against England internationalist Jack Maunder, his little brother and current England Under-20 cap Sam, Stu Townsend and Joe Snow for game time with the Premiership giants.

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“I’m very excited by the move,” said Hidalgo-Clyne, who has won 12 Test caps and featured at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. “Like a lot of people, I’ve watched how the Chiefs have done and how successful the club have become over the last few years. They are one of the great teams, not just in England, but across Europe, and it will be great to be part of their set-up.

“Even looking in from the outside, you can see Rob has created a fantastic environment for the players. They play a great brand of rugby, everyone appears to enjoy themselves and they are a team who clearly want to win things. As a player, there are a lot of things that would draw you to them. As I said, it’s a great move for me and my family and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”

“I chatted in detail with Rob [Baxter, the Chiefs’ Director of Rugby] and he outlined how he wants the team to play, the aspirations of the club, and what he would expect from me. I liked what he had to say and in the end it was a pretty easy decision for me.

“Obviously, they have a quality squad already assembled there and with guys like Jonny coming in as well, it’s only going to get better. I’ve played a lot with Jonny, not only as a youngster, but also with him and Stuart [Hogg] at international level, so it will be good to have a few friendly faces on arrival.

“When you look at them as an opponent, they are one of the toughest teams out there,” he continued. “They have strengths all over the pitch and they are a team who like to keep hold of the ball and play for long periods. The way they attack, their defence, their physicality, they have some many areas of their game that are so strong. They rarely have off days!

“Alongside all of that, the support they get down at Sandy Park is incredible. I remember it was not only pretty noisy down there, but it was probably one of the windiest days ever for me on a rugby pitch!

“It’s a great place to go and play, though, and as I said at the outset, I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead.”

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About David Barnes 3995 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.