Exeter Chiefs have bolstered their ranks for the 2022/23 season with the double signing of Leinster Rugby duo, Jack Dunne and Rory O’Loughlin.
Chiefs Director of Rugby Rob Baxter has moved swiftly to secure the services of the two Irishmen, both of whom are relishing the opportunity of featuring for the first time in the Gallagher Premiership.
It’s Baxter first moves in terms of squad strengthening for next season, but they are certainly significant captures for the Devon club.
Second-row Dunne, who stands at 6ft 8in and tips the scales at 120kg, is an Irish Under-20s international who has come through the Academy system at Leinster. Schooled initially at St Michael’s College, the imposing forward then moved onto Trinity College in Dublin, where he combined his rugby career with that of a four-year degree in Theoretical Physics.
He made his Leinster debut back in 2019 against Zebre in the Pro 14, but a significant knee injury and Covid restrictions have meant that game time has been limited until recent times. Now fully-fit, Dunne – who is English qualified – is looking to play his part for the Irish province before heading to Sandy Park next season.
Joining him at the Chiefs will be club-mate O’Loughlin, who is another who has played through the age grades at Leinster, making his first-team debut back in 2016 against Benetton Treviso. Since then, the gifted centre has amassed almost 100 appearances for the club, scoring 21 tries in the process.
A key figure in the Leinster midfield for a number of years, the Irish international has helped the club to lift four domestic league titles, as well as the Heineken Champions Cup in 2018 against Racing 92.