VIDEO: Dean Mumm honoured to be named Exeter Chiefs captain
Exeter Chiefs’ new captain Dean Mumm says following former skipper Tom Hayes will be no easy task.
The Australia international, who joined Chiefs from Waratahs in April 2012, was confirmed as the Premiership side’s new leader this week.
With Hayes still fighting for full fitness following a back operation, head coach Rob Baxter decided now was the right time to make the change.
“They are big shoes to fill, aren’t they?,” said Mumm. “Tommy has quite a legacy here at the club. His captaincy has marked a real era of change and success and he deserves full credit.
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“It will be difficult to come in and fill his shoes. But I don’t think you have to approach it that way. Tom will still be a really strong leader in this squad and I’m just lucky to be the guy who gets to run out on the field as captain.”
Mumm is the first to admit that Chiefs’ squad contains a lot of potential leaders. He said: “It is a real quality within the squad.
“There are a lot of guys with experience in a lot of different competitions. We have got guys who have experience of Championship rugby, some with Super Rugby backgrounds and others who have played Test rugby as well.
“There is a really nice balance to this squad and there are so many people capable of leading the side and their respective areas of the team.”
Mumm featured in 16 Premiership matches in his first season at Sandy Park and scored two tries.
The 29-year-old is pleased with how he has settled into English rugby. He said: “It’s been great and I’m really enjoying it.
“I was writing an email to someone back home the other day and I said to them that I really enjoy being at a club where there is a whole bunch of ambition about going forward.
“It is also nice that the club is very honest and truthful – you know where you stand. You would think that would be one of the foundations of professional life but, unfortunately, it is not.
“I’m certainly enjoying being at the Chiefs, it is a really nice place to be and I hope we can continue moving forward.”
Chiefs came sixth in the top flight last season, one place lower than the previous campaign. However, Mumm said no definitive targets have been set for the forthcoming campaign, which begins with a trip to Northampton Saints on September 7.
He feels it will be important for Chiefs to maintain consistency as conditions change throughout the season.
Mumm said: “Rob Baxter has spoken about this before and it is just about continuing to improve.
“It’s easy in pre-season to have plenty of optimism but it is important not to get carried away. This is an ambitious club and we want to be aiming for the top four and we want to be trying to qualify for the Heineken Cup.
“You really have to have certain types of game for different times of the year. How you play in spring and autumn is different to how you play in winter. The good sides are the ones that can manage that process for the whole season.”