Australia lock Dean Mumm has backed Exeter Chiefs boss Rob Baxter to succeed Eddie Jones as England coach.
Mumm hailed Chiefs stalwart coach Baxter for “reinvigorating” his career during his three-year stint at the Sandy Park club.
The 32-year-old lock admitted he thought his Wallabies career was over when he joined the Chiefs, but now credits Baxter and Exeter for handing him a new lease of life at Test level.
England chief Ian Ritchie believes national coach Jones’ eventual successor must boast international-level experience, but Mumm insists Baxter can thrive in the Test arena.
“I would definitely endorse Rob for the England role,” said Mumm of Exeter boss Baxter’s credentials to coach England.
“It’s fair to say he’s doing a reasonable job at the moment.
“The way Exeter have risen in the last few years is a great showcase for what he can do.”
Mumm swapped the Waratahs for Exeter in 2012 fully expecting his Australia career to end on 33 caps.
The astute tight-five forward relished in his rejuvenation at the Chiefs however, before returning home and forcing his way into Australia’s squad for the 2015 World Cup.
The Wallabies powered all the way to the tournament’s final, with Mumm since moving past 50 Test caps and remaining an integral part of Michael Cheika’s Australia squad. Back in England and gearing up for Australia’s Rugby Championship clash with Argentina at Twickenham on Saturday, Mumm explained just how Baxter and Exeter helped him force his Wallabies comeback.
“The perspective with which I came to the UK in 2012 was thinking that I wasn’t going to have a Wallaby career beyond that point,” said Mumm.
“So to come back now flying in with the Wallabies, there’s a real sense of pride in that, and one that you don’t take any moment in this jersey for granted. Every chance you get to wear it and do something in it is particularly important. Without a doubt I’m a better player for having gone to Exeter.
“The mental perspective is so important in your career, how you mentally drive yourself is just as important as the physical elements. And that was certainly improved through my time at Exeter.
“Also I think down there it’s a real love of the game, the tribalism and those elements, they’re really exciting and can really reinvigorate you as an individual.”