A FORMER Camp Hill RFC minis player has signed a two-year contract with Aviva Premiership champions Exeter Chiefs.
James Freeman will head to Sandy Park from Championship side Jersey Reds and is determined to follow the lead of others in the Exeter ranks and make his mark in the Premiership.
The Solihull-born 26-year-old is also hopeful of proving head coach Rob Baxter’s eye for unearthing emerging talent from English rugby’s second tier remains as sharp as ever.
Freeman, who becomes Baxter’s fifth summer signing for the 2017/18 season, said the paths of Harry Williams, Elvis Taione, Shaun Malton, Mitch Less and Tomas Francis, all of whom joined the Chiefs from Championship clubs, is something he is keen to follow.
“I’m really excited about the move and becoming part of the Chiefs set-up,” he said.
“I’ve been a massive admirer of what Rob and the club have done since they got into the Premiership and now I’ve got the chance to be part of things.
“I know it’s a big opportunity for me.”
Having began his career at Worcester Warriors’ academy, Freeman has honed his senior talents with Loughborough University and then Jersey, where he established himself as one of the outstanding performers in the Championship last season.
“One of the things that attracted me to the Chiefs was the way in which they’ve brought through players from the Championship,” Freeman added.
“They’ve not been afraid to give people their shot at playing at that level.
“Each year you see guys move up into the Premiership and now I’ve got my chance.
“I know it will be tough, but you expect that. For me, this is a fantastic opportunity to take my career on to that next step and an opportunity that I have to take with both hands.”