Ollie Devoto says the experiences he had playing against Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park attracted him to the club.
Devoto is settling in to his new surroundings at the Chiefs having joined from Bath this summer and, having been on tour with England Saxons in June, he started preseason training last week.
The 22-year-old says the atmosphere he came up against when facing the Chiefs were one of the things that convinced him to make the move to Rob Baxter’s side.
He said: “Rob Baxter and I had a chat before I started just to outline where I stand and what’s my position.
“First of all he said I’ve got to work hard and you can see that in the guys. Everyone works extremely hard and I know from playing them previously that, when you play Exeter Chiefs, you know you’re in for a hard game.
“I really enjoyed playing at Sandy Park and it was one of the factors that really drew me to the club.
“The atmosphere was amazing and there was a sense that the guys really, really work for each other.
“Having been on the other end of that, I really wanted to be a part of it.
“The guys who have done really, really well, the likes of Henry Slade and Jack Nowell have really benefitted from the environment here, so from my point of view I just want to be a part of it as much as possible and learn from that environment.”
He added: “I’ve already been thrown into the deep end as we had a warm-weather training camp in Portugal for a couple of days and just being in Exeter is good.
“Everyone takes the mick out of everyone, there’s no hierarchy here, so on a personal level, it’s going to be brilliant.”
Devoto had a chance to meet a number of his new teammates whilst on the Saxons tour of South Africa and the centre says he is settling in nicely.
“I’ve obviously been here since last week and have been slowly introduced to training,” he said. “I think all the boys are a lot fitter than me at the moment but in terms of settling in and meeting new faces, it’s been brilliant.
“I knew quite a few of the boys previously through age group level rugby and those that I met in South Africa but I get on well with everyone.”
The Saxons tour, led by Exeter Chiefs’ Ali Hepher, was Devoto’s first senior tour and he says that, alongside the fact they overcame South Africa A 2-0, the experience as a whole is something he has benefitted from.
“It was great,” he said.
“We had a great group of lads and everyone got along.
“The two games were fantastic and we got great results in them but a few of us went on safari and being down in Durban on the beach and it was fantastic to experience that.
“It was my first senior tour that I’d been involved with.
“For a youngish guy, it was amazing to experience the safari and the beach and we went to an orphanage as well, which was an eye opener, so it was amazing stuff.”