Baxter: Scottish prop Francis has potential to be strong Premiership performer
1:25pm Thursday 3rd April 2014 in Rugby Union
Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter says he is looking to unleash the huge potential on offer in new signing Tomas Francis.
The 21-year-old prop, who has joined from Championship side London Scottish, put pen to paper on a two-year deal with the Aviva Premiership club and will bolster Baxter's options in the front-row following the departures this summer of Hoani Tui and Craig Mitchell.
Francis is one of two tight-heads, the other being Scottish international Moray Low, that Baxter has recruited ahead of next season and the Chiefs leader is confident the youngster has what it takes to survive within the top flight.
"We always keep a close eye on the Championship and one of the things we tend to keep a close eye on is front five forwards,” said Baxter.
"On a pretty consistent basis, Tom has looked very good. He's looked strong in the set-piece and more mobile than you'd imagine when you see the stats for his size."
"He's been a pretty dominant scrummager, but he's also short of time in the professional game.
"This is his first full season at a full-time club and that all makes him very interesting. He's got huge potential.
"He's 21 years old, in his first year in a professional environment, and he's a very solid performer in the set-piece."
"He's someone we hope will develop during his time at Exeter and I can see him coming through as a good player in the Premiership.
"Meeting him and seeing his desire to get on and thrive in a professional environment is quite commendable. I'm sure he'll come in and work very hard.”