Michele Campagnaro: Italy centre to join Exeter Chiefs

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Michele Campagnaro
Michele Campagnaro made his debut for Italy against Fiji in November 2013

Italy centre Michele Campagnaro has agreed to join Exeter from Pro12 side Benetton Treviso this summer.

The 21-year-old, who has won 13 caps for his country, has signed a contract through to the summer of 2017.

"We've been looking at him for quite a while, close to two years," Exeter head coach Rob Baxter told BBC Sport.

"He's young, he's exciting when he gets the ball in space, but he's very selectable because first and foremost he's a very good defender."

Michele Campagnaro scores twice against Wales

Campagnaro has scored three tries for Treviso in the Pro12 this season and scored twice against Wales on his Six Nations debut in February last year.

He started Italy's opening Six Nations match of 2015, a home defeat by Ireland, but did not feature in the loss to England at Twickenham because of injury.

Campagnaro becomes the first Italy international to join Exeter and in moving to the Chiefs this summer.

"If you watch his game on a regular basis you'll see him making a lot of tackles and getting the odd opportunity with the ball," said Baxter.

"We're very pleased with his defensive attributes, but what we want to do is add to that attacking game as well.

"It'll be a step up for him, but he's played very successfully at international level.

"We feel like we're putting together a very good set of backs here at the club and we play rugby where he'll get the ball in his hands."