Chiefs snap up Ospreys prop Mitchell
March 29, 2011
Craig Mitchell starred for Wales in this year's Six Nations © Getty Images
The Exeter Chiefs have announced the signing of Craig Mitchell on a two-year deal from the Ospreys.
The Wales prop, who is currently out of action with a dislocated shoulder suffered during the Six Nations win over Ireland earlier this month, was born and raised in Neath but is excited by the prospect by his imminent move to England.
"I'm really looking forward to it," he said. "It's going to be a fresh start for me and a move that is right for me and my career at this stage. I've had six good years with the Ospreys, but I felt the time was right to try something else and signing for Exeter is a great opportunity for me.
"Yeah, it's going to be my first crack at English rugby and the Premiership. I've spoken to a few boys about it and they've said it's tough, but that it is also a very good standard. Obviously I've come up against English sides before with the Ospreys and with Wales, so I know a little bit about the players and the teams."
Mitchell is Exeter's second new signing ahead of next season following the acquisition of Saracens scrum-half Kevin Barrett and head coach Rob Baxter believes he will be a good fit at the Chiefs.
"We've had Craig lined up for a while, but with the Six Nations going on he asked us to keep things under wraps for a while so that's what we did," said Baxter. "I think he's a really good signing for us and anybody who saw the internationals will know he's a quality guy who works hard and that's the kind of player we like."
Mitchell has made 35 appearances for the Ospreys since 2006 and admitted the presence of his tight-head rival Adam Jones at the region made his decision a little easier. "I've always said Adam is the world's best tight-head," Mitchell said. "So when he signed for another three years at Ospreys I knew it was time to move on. I appreciate certain games are highly presurised, but I'm competitive and will not improve being on the bench."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape