Chiefs centre Sireli Naqelevuki pleased with progress

Sireli Naqelevuki
Naqelevuki made 12 starts for the Chiefs in the Premiership last term

Exeter Chiefs centre Sireli Naqelevuki has said he has greatly benefited from his first year in English rugby.

The 30-year-old featured 18 times for the club having arrived in late September from South African Super 15 franchise the Stormers.

Naqelevuki said: "Playing in the Premiership is a good challenge, and one which I've really enjoyed.

"It's hard and it's physical, but I definitely think I've added new things to my game since I came to Exeter."

He added: "I'm involved a lot more in the game. My defending has improved a lot as well because you need to be strong in the middle."

During the course of the season, Naqelevuki scored five tries for the Premiership newcomers, including a spectacular effort against Northampton that has been shortlisted for 'Try of the Year' at Wednesday's Rugby Player's Association Annual Awards.

He added: "Next season will be even better because I will know a lot more and I will be here right from the start.

"I felt more and more comfortable as the season went on and I'm looking forward to working with the coaches again.

"The boys here are awesome - everyone helps each other out, both on and off the field."

The Chiefs finished eighth in their first season of top flight rugby, achieving impressive wins against Saracens, Northampton and Wasps.

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