New Exeter Chiefs winger Alex Cuthbert insists he has no regrets leaving Wales.
Cuthbert made almost a century of appearances for the Cardiff Blues, racking up over 200 points while he was in the Welsh capital, but he feels he’s made a step up by joining the Gallagher Premiership club.
“It’s different to what I’ve been used to at Cardiff, it’s a far bigger organisation and the way they go about things is probably on another level, but I’ve settled in well and I know it’s a club that’s pushing for honours.”
Those comments about the Chiefs being “a far bigger organisation” may agitate some, particularly with the Blues having won their second Challenge Cup in May with a thrilling 31-30 win over Gloucester. They’ve also opened the chequebook over the last few weeks to bring in 20-stone Samu Manoa from Toulon and former Ospreys prop Dmitri Arhip. Jason Harries has also joined, along with the season-long loan of Rory Thornton.
Cuthbert’s international career is now over too, he’s picked up 47 caps for Wales, but the ’60-cap rule’ means he’s not eligible to play for Warren Gatland’s side now he plies his trade outside the country.
“Reaching 50 caps was obviously in the back of my mind, but I just needed a change and when the opportunity came up at Exeter it was perfect. They’d been tracking me for a quite a while and I first spoke to Rob Baxter and Ali Hepher a couple of years ago, so if a top club like this is looking at you and they feel you’ve got something to offer, it gives you a lot of confidence.
“I’ve always wanted to play in the Premiership. It’s one of the best leagues going and to have the opportunity of joining one of the best teams in England and Europe now is something I wanted to grab with both hands.
Cuthbert was a try scoring British and Irish Lions test winger in Australia in 2013, but has struggled to recapture that kind of form. He insists people should not write him off.
“I’m only 28 and still have a lot to offer. I bring size and speed and I’ve got a lot of power. With the experience I’ve got of playing in a lot of big games, I’m looking to bring that out and win things at the Chiefs.”
“I know I’ve got a battle to win a place here with the quality of competition from guys like Jack Nowell, Olly Woodburn, James Short and Santiago Cordero.
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