Exeter Chiefs sign Iestyn Harris from Cardiff

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

Exeter Chiefs have announced the signing of Welsh hooker Iestyn Harris from Cardiff Rugby ahead of the 2022/23 season.

A product of Cardiff Academy, the 23-year-old made his senior debut with the club last season during the Pro14 game against Leinster in Dublin but a shoulder injury restricted his appearances in the ongoing campaign.

He was contracted with Cardiff Rugby at the end of the 2021/22 season but was not offered a new contract.

“I am really excited about the move. Obviously I was supposed to start here next season, but thanks to the club and Cardiff, I’m here now and I am really enjoying myself.

“Exeter is a fantastic club, full of quality players, and who are always challenging for honours and developing players. It’s a huge opportunity for me and I’m really looking forward to the future.

“I also want to thank everyone at Cardiff for all the time and effort they have put into me over the years. Without their support I wouldn’t be where I am today, so I will always be grateful to them for giving me that chance.”

Harris' signing is the fourth made by the Devon club for the new season after Aidon Davis, Jack Dunne and Rory O’Loughlin and director of rugby Rob Baxter feels his selection will add to the depth of the squad.

“We were looking to add a hooker to the senior squad for next season and Iestyn’s name was one of those we looked at. His agent sent me a few games of him playing, I had a good look at those, and I liked what I saw.

“After that, he came down to the club, we did his medical, we had a chat, and he came across very well. Talking with Iestyn, he just looks like of those guys who has an ambition, a dream, a drive, just to be the best player he can be. He’s played this season in the Champions Cup and he ticks a lot of the boxes I like to see in a young player.

“I’m grateful to Dai Young and Cardiff for releasing him early, so that he can come down here and finish off the final bits of his rehab on his shoulder injury, as well as get integrated into what we do here at the club. With Luke Cowan-Dickie still sidelined and with Iestyn himself getting close to return, there could be an opportunity for him to break into the first team before the end of the season.”