Aaron Hinkley says he is relishing the new challenge that awaits next season after he agreed to join the Exeter Chiefs from Gallagher Premiership rivals, Gloucester Rugby.
The 20-year-old forward will make the switch to Sandy Park this summer, having agreed a two-year deal with the Devon club.
He is Exeter’s third confirmed capture ahead of the 2020/21 season and follows Scottish internationals Jonny Gray and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne in joining Rob Baxter’s squad.
The Hereford-born flanker was a pupil at St Peter’s High School in Gloucester before joining the club’s Academy set-up in 2017. The following year he made his first-team debut as a replacement for Ben Morgan in an Anglo-Welsh Cup fixture against Newcastle Falcons.
Since then, he has combined life with the Cherry & Whites by featuring initially for Cinderford in the National League and then Hartpury College in the RFU Championship.
To date, he has featured 12 times for Gloucester, scoring tries against Harlequins and London Irish in this season’s Premiership Rugby Cup. However, he sees his future away from Kingsholm and is excited about testing himself in a new environment with the Chiefs.
“I’m very excited about the move,” said Hinkley, who has been capped at both Under-18s and Under-20s level with England. “I was coming to the end of my contract at Gloucester and when I heard there was some interest from Exeter, I wanted to hear more of what they had to say.
“Speaking with Rob Baxter and Rob Hunter, I liked what they had to say and how they wanted to work with me and develop my game moving forward. Everyone knows that Exeter are one of the best clubs in Europe and that they have created a great environment and a great culture for their players.
“Obviously, I’m grateful for the opportunities that Gloucester have given me over the last few years, but I feel the time is right for me to try something different. I know going down to Exeter is going to be a huge challenge, especially when you see the quality of their squad, but I believe they can help take me to another level”
HIGHEST PAID RUGBY PLAYERS – 2020
You might be shocked to find out what the highest paid rugby players make.
Here are the 20 richest rugby players in the world for 2020
20. Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks) – £500,000
The Springbok playmaker enters the list after signing a new contract with the Premiership club.
19. Paddy Jackson (London Irish) – £500,000
The number 10 reportedly earns more than his ex-international teammate Sean O’Brien at the Exiles, who pockets a hefty £450,000 wage packet.
18. Sergio Parisse (Toulon) – £500,000
Italy’s captain has been a star for more years than most can remember and continues to be paid big money for his services at No.8 by Toulon.
17. Kieran Read (Toyota Verblitz) – £519,000
16. Finn Russell (Racing 92) – £535,000
Doubled his money by succeeding Carter at Racing 92 after switching from Glasgow Warriors with the Scottish Rugby Union unable to come anywhere near matching the money he was offered by the Top 14 club.