Ruben van Heerden: Exeter sign South African lock from Sharks
Exeter have signed South African lock Ruben van Heerden from the Sharks.
The 24-year-old comes in with Jonny Hill, Sam Skinner and Sean Lonsdale all leaving the club this summer.
The former South Africa Under-20 player began his career with the Bulls in 2013 before moving to the Durban-based Sharks in 2018.
He scored one try in 12 appearances in the United Rugby Championship this season as the Sharks made the quarter-finals before losing in the play-offs.
“I’m so excited about coming to the Chiefs,” he told the club website.
“I’ve followed them for some time and you can see they are such a good team, packed full of quality players and who have a game to really challenge the opposition.
“The Premiership is right up there as one of the best – if not the best – competitions there are to play in. Every week is a challenge, the teams are so strong, so it’s going to be a great battle for myself.”
Exeter have not disclosed the length of van Heerden’s deal at Sandy Park.
He will join a pack that contains fellow South Africans Jacques Vermeulen and Jannes Kirsten and new signing Aidon Davis while Irish lock Jack Dunne will also move to Sandy Park this summer.
“He’s big, he’s physical, but the thing for me is, he’s a guy who you can see loves being involved in games,” added director of rugby Rob Baxter.
“I’ve watched him play quite a bit and when I broke down his game, he ticks a lot of boxes in what I’m looking for in a player.
“Obviously, we’ve talked and we’ve discussed how we see him fitting into the squad.
“What I liked from talking to him was that he talked a lot about our style and how he felt it work for him and his game.
“Like any player, we see there are areas in his game that we can develop, but we’ve seen enough in his game that the numbers really add up.”