Ignacio Mieres set for move to rivals Worcester Warriors
Coach Rob Baxter has confirmed that Ignacio Mieres will leave Exeter Chiefs this summer, after agreeing a deal with Aviva Premiership rivals Worcester Warriors.
The Argentinian fly-half is keen to further his international aspirations and, after losing the club’s number ten jersey to Gareth Steenson this campaign, the 25-year-old feels he has to leave Sandy Park and play regular rugby to catch the eyes of the Argentina coaches and improve on his tally of six caps for the Pumas.
“Nacho is wanting to play more rugby, get more starts, and right now he is feeling that will happen more often at another club,” Baxter said.
“What we have at the moment is a guy who is very passionate about playing – and he is desperate to play more for Argentina.
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“I think, because of those factors, he feels he now wants to go somewhere where he is going to start regularly and put himself in the shop window to get the best opportunity to play international rugby.
“It is a shame, of course, because we never like signing anyone here and them not seeing out their contracts. We tend to feel, when you have a player for two or three years, that he will be an Exeter player for two or three years. However, it can’t always be like that. As a club, we’re not going to be awkward and stand in his way, especially with the fact he feels he would like to go somewhere else.”
Mieres, who has made 51 appearances for Exeter, only signed a new two-year deal with the club last summer, after a fine campaign in which he was the Chiefs’ regular starting fly-half. He amassed 282 points in 28 matches as the Devon side finished fifth and secured a place in the Heineken Cup for the first time in its history.
That form led to him starting two of Argentina’s three summer internationals, but this season he has been overtaken by Steenson in the club’s pecking order.
Mieres wants to have a strong finish to his Chiefs’ career before starting at Sixways in the summer. Speaking to Warriors’ club website, he said: “I’m very grateful to Rob Baxter and Exeter Chiefs for the opportunity that gave me over the last few seasons.
“It is a great club with great supporters and very hard-working and talented staff who deserve success.
“My focus is now on the rest of this season and giving all I have, I want to have a strong finish with the Chiefs and a successful end of the season.
“I know this move will be a big challenge for me. I don’t know very many of the Worcester players and I haven’t been to the stadium lots of times, just when we play Warriors.
“But what I do know is that it is a big project at Warriors, the coaches have told me about the way forward and that is an exciting thing to be a part of. I am very excited by the new challenge.”
The Chiefs are well stocked in his position, with Myles Dorrian and England Under-20 playmaker Henry Slade both able to play at ten, but with Dorrian also out of contract this summer – and yet to agree a new deal – Baxter may opt to strengthen his options for next year.
Out-of-contract Northampton Saints fly-half Ryan Lamb is thought to be one possible solution.
“We’re aware Ryan [Lamb] is out on the market. There are various options, he’s one of them, but there are other options as well,” said Baxter.
“We’re not rushing into anything at the minute, we’re having a good look around and it’s important for us to find a guy who’s the right fit and will fit in with the way we play.
“We have to make sure that the situation ends up in a benefit to the club, not a negative. We have to replace Nacho [Mieres] with a player who’s going to drive us forward.”