Exeter Chiefs secure signing of Tongan international Solomone Kata

Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter
Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter

Exeter Chiefs have announced the signing of Tonga international Solomone Kata ahead of the 2022/23 season.

Kata becomes the fifth signing made by the club ahead of the new season following the likes of Leinster duo Jack Dunne and Rory O’Loughlin and South Africans Aidon Davis and Ruben Van Heerden.

“It’s a big move for me and my family,” said Kata to the club's official website.

“Coming in today, the boys have been very welcoming and I’m really looking forward to the challenge ahead.”

“I’ve watched a few games and I know it’s really physical here in the UK.

“I like that, it plays to my strengths. I don’t have a fancy step or anything like that, I just like to go through people and enjoy the contact. Apart from that, I don’t know too much more about what to expect!”

Kata, who represented Tonga at the League and Union level represented New Zealand Warriors in 93 games and switched codes in 2019 when he joined Brumbies. He also had represented Auckland and Moana Pasifika in the past.

“He’s explosive, he’s dangerous and he’s a quality player,” said Baxter.

“Obviously, he’s just got it so he will take a few days to get up to speed, but you can tell by meeting him that he’s already settling in well to the group and will give us those options we need in midfield.

“It’s no secret that Ollie Devoto is still some way away from returning, Henry [Slade] and Hendo [Tom Hendrickson] are still recovering from operations too, so we were looking a bit thin in that area.

"That said, when a guy of Sol’s quality comes onto the market, we had a good look at him – we liked what we saw – and we’ve brought him here. It’s over to him now to get on the field and show us what he can do."