Exeter Chiefs sign Bath's Ireland second-row Ryan Caldwell

Exeter have signed Bath's former Ireland international second row Ryan Caldwell on a one-year deal.

The 29-year-old arrives at Sandy Park after long-standing locks James Hanks and Tom Hayes were both forced into retirement with injury this season.

The former Ulster forward won two caps for his country in 2009.

"I like the brand of rugby that the Chiefs play and hopefully I can go down there and play a big part for them next season," said Caldwell.

Ryan Caldwell

Ryan Caldwell
  • Played for Ireland against Canada and USA in summer of 2009.
  • Spent six years at Ulster, scoring three tries in 84 games.
  • Moved to Bath in 2011, scoring two tries in 52 games.

"It's a great move for me and one that I am very much looking forward to."

Caldwell played with Exeter fly-half Gareth Steenson as a youngster and was a team-mate of Chiefs centre Ian Whitten at Ulster.

"It'll be good to have a few friendly faces to welcome me in when I join up with the rest of the guys," added Caldwell.

"The team spirit you can see is great down at Exeter and it comes through so often in their performances on the pitch."

The forward is the latest international to arrive at Exeter for next season, with England's Thomas Waldrom, Scotland's Moray Low, and Tonga's Elvis Taione having agreed deals already.

The club has also signed forward Mitch Lees, and Tomas Francis from Championship clubs London Welsh and London Scottish.

"I think Ryan is a really good signing for us. I have kept an eye on him ever since he came over because we were interested in signing him when he came over from Ulster, but we were never really in the market for him," said Exeter head coach Rob Baxter.

"Since then I have watched him over a number of seasons and when he first came over he played really well for Bath.

"He has had some injury issues, but they are behind him and he is fit and ready to play. We feel it's a great opportunity for Ryan to show what he can do."