Exeter Chiefs have announced that Tonga international Elvis Taione has penned a new deal with the Gallagher Premiership club.
Taione made his professional rugby debut with Super Rugby side Waratahs in 2011 and switched to Championship side Jersey Reds in 2013. His association with Exeter Chiefs began in 2014 and till date has racked up 76 first-team appearances in which he scored seven tries.
“I’ve been here six years and Exeter is definitely home from home for me,” said Taione to the official website of the club.
“I enjoy life here, the club is great, the boys are like a family, so it’s all good for me. In a lot of ways, it’s such an easy decision to make because of what we have at the club.
“I’ve been at other clubs in the past, but none of them compare to what it’s like here. It’s a good feeling to know the club and Rob want me to stay, but I have to credit everyone around me because they have helped me improve so much.
“The group we have here is not only very good, but it’s capable of achieving great things and winning trophies.”
The 36-year-old went on to make his international debut for Tonga in 2012 and has featured in 19 Tests including three games in the 2015 World Cup. Currently, the Premiership season is suspended following the pandemic coronavirus but Taione said the players are determined to finish the season on the top if there is a resumption when the situation improves.
“I’m enjoying it,” added Taione. “Like anyone, I’m out there to do a job, but mine is made a lot easier by the other 14 boys. This group we’ve got right now, it’s scary how good they are. Every year everyone is taking their game to the next level, including myself, and I definitely think this season has been my best.
“Obviously, we’ve still got games to play, so it’s important that all of us work hard, keep fit and steady ready for when that moment comes that we have to play again. I don’t want to look back and say I wasn’t ready.
“It’s a pity the season stopped when it did because we had some real momentum behind us, but we can still achieve what we want when we do start playing again.”