Edinburgh Rugby second row Ollie Atkins today clinched a move to the English Premiership by signing for Exeter Chiefs on a two-year deal.
The 26-year-old Australian, who qualifies for Scotland through a dad from Dunbar, has made 13 starts for Edinburgh and 18 substitute appearances since joining at the start of last season.
Atkins. who spent a gap year at Edinburgh Accies before turning professional, was as a substitute in the win over Treviso earlier this month.
Exeter head coach Rob Baxter is delighted by the acquisition to replace Dean Mumm, who is joining New South Wales Waratahs in the hope of being picked by Australia for this autumn’s World Cup.
Edinburgh will now rely on South African Anton Bresler along with Scots Fraser McKenzie, Grant Gilchrist and Ben Toolis with the last two named expected to be involved in the World Cup.
Baxter said: “Ollie is actually someone that Dean mentioned having played with him back in Australia. He felt he was a promising young player with a great deal of promise and then our analyst, Simon Norris, who keeps a close eye on the PRO12, also happened to mention he had seen a young lock that he felt had a couple of decent performances.
“That led us to take a closer look and analyse things a bit more closely and when we learnt Dean was going to leave, we made an approach and things came off.
“We have looked at Ollie’s game closely and we had him down here for a good meeting and he has a lot of qualities that will work very well among the group here. He has a great engine and is a real eighty-minute player.
“He gets through a great deal of work and, having watched him play and talked to him, there is the potential to add a lot to his game.”