Matt Kvesic: Exeter back-row praised after impressive start to new season

Matt Kvesic
Matt Kvesic scored his first Exeter try against Leicester - his first five-pointer since 2 January 2016

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter has praised Matt Kvesic's transformation over the summer.

The ex-England back-row moved to Sandy Park from Gloucester last season, but started just four Premiership matches.

But Baxter says the 26-year-old has returned for the new season in impressive form.

"He has made sure that on the basis of how hard and how well he trained in pre-season he was probably the first name on the teamsheet," Baxter said.

"Anyone who's looked at Matt Kvesic's conditioning at the minute will go 'there's a guy who finished last season and had one thing on his mind, and that was making sure he was good this year'," he told BBC Radio Devon after Exeter's impressive 40-6 win over Leicester in their Premiership opener.

The Chiefs boss believes Kvesic has added to his all-round game in the year he has been with the club.

"He doesn't look like the guy that turned up 12 months ago and all he was trying to do was be in rucks," he said.

"He looks like a guy who wants the ball in his hands and he wants to pass, wants to run and wants to carry, and he's still winning turnovers for us as well.

"The man who takes credit for it is Matt Kvesic, he's the one who's had to make all the tough decisions, he's the man who's had to take being left out of the team on the chin, and he's the guy that's gone away and made some really positive decisions about how he's going to play this year."