Moray Low says he’s ‘excited’ about the year ahead after agreeing terms on a new one-year contract with the Exeter Chiefs.
The Scottish international will take his stay at Sandy Park into a fifth year, having moving to the Premiership outfit from former club Glasgow Warriors in 2014.
Part and parcel of Rob Baxter’s squad ever since, the 33-year-old prop underlined his proven qualities last season by producing a man-of-the-match display in the club’s Anglo-Welsh Cup final victory over Bath at Kingsholm.
Since making his debut in the away win at London Welsh In September 2014, Low has amassed 65 first team appearances for the Chiefs, scoring six tries in the process.
Reflecting on his new deal, the Torphins-born forward said: “Obviously I’m very happy to have got the new contract and that I’ll be staying with the Chiefs for another year. It’s a fantastic club to be involved with, not just in terms of the day-to-day environment, but with the group of players and coaches we have here.
“We’ve had another really good season, getting to the Prem final again and also winning the Anglo-Welsh Cup, so it shows we have a competitive squad and that we’re fighting on all fronts.”
Having played over 150 times for the Warriors during an eight-year stint with the Scottish club, Low says he knew from early discussions with Chiefs’ supremo Baxter that he was moving to a club with real drive and ambition.
“When I first arrived, the goal was really to try and get into that top six,” he explained. “Then it was to try and get top four, which we did, and now it’s a case of trying to reach that latter end of the season with the play-offs and being in that final come the end of the season.
“Winning the title was obviously a great feeling for all of us and we’ve been very unlucky in the other two finals. It shows, though, that the club is moving in the right direction and that we’ve got a quality group of players here.
“There are still a few originals boys here, along with a few of us oldies as well, but below that there is a lot of quality, young players. What Rob has done very well over the years is he’s put together a great mix of youth and experience, got us all to play very well, and produced a great environment in which we can all thrive.”
Indeed, Low has seen first-hand the emergence of that young talent, particularly in the front-row where, in the past two years, guys like Alec Hepburn, Harry Williams and Tomas Francis have all established themselves as international props.
Alongside that trio, Low – together with the likes of Ben Moon, Carl Rimmer and Greg Holmes – have all helped add real depth to Baxter’s options at the head of the Exeter pack.
Behind them, however, the next batch of stock is also developing nicely with the likes of Marcus Street, Billy Keast, Jack Owlett and James Kenny all experiencing exposure at first team level.
“When I first arrived at the club I think we only had a couple of international props, but now we’ve got five or six of us here,” said Low, who has won 37 caps for his country. “It’s good to see how those guys have come through, but it’s also helped to raise the standards for all of us. Every week the challenge is there for all of us, whether it be in training or in games, and that’s something I think we all enjoy.”
With Low’s rugby future secure for another 12 months at least, away from the field the Scotsman says his new business venture with fellow Chief Julian Salvi also played a part in his decision-making to hang about in the Westcountry.
Together the two have set up a property development company ‘Tomahawk Homes’, which has already begun working on building a number of bespoke homes in Bishopsteignton.
“Rugby isn’t going to last forever, so you have to look to the future,” added Low. “Having the business is a nice distraction to have away from rugby. Obviously, rugby and my family remain the key priorities for me, but it does open your eyes to life away from the game.
“When I was younger and before I had the family, it was rugby, rugby, rugby! These days it’s more about getting the balance right in your life. What the business has done is put me in a great position for when I do eventually call it a day, I then have something in place for that transition period.”