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The Exeter winger being touted as the next Wales star

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Monday Nov 27, 2023

It took Immanuel Feyi-Waboso just 35 seconds to get on the scoresheet for Exeter in yesterday’s match against Newcastle at Kingston Park. His solo effort started on his own 40 metre line as he trundled over one player, past another, and round the final obstacle.

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Commentator Jamie Lyall gave a terrific account of the run, exclaiming: “Feyi-Waboso, missed by Moroni, steam-rolling his way through. Wyatt’s on his outside! Feyi-Waboso won’t need him. 35 seconds on the clock and Exeter scorch the Tyneside plastic!”

At only 20 years old, Feyi-Waboso is yet another young talent that Wales could have to call onto the wings in the near future. Feyi-Waboso could well be looked upon by Gatland as a long-term wing partner to the impressive Rio Dyer, with Louis Rees-Zammit having already indicated his interest in a move to fullback.

Speaking about international prospects, the Exeter flyer exercised caution regarding his prospects, saying: “Realistically, I know there are parts of my game that I need to work on to even be close to being on that international level. It’s more about working on my weaknesses and strengthening my strong points.

“I think [my ambition to play international rugby] is very superficial actually. Obviously I would love for that to happen but I feel I need to get some high-level game time under my belt first – but hopefully at some point, yeah.”

Despite being only 20, the wide man has already collected appearances for three teams since 2021. His professional life started at the Cardiff Blues academy where he eventually made his debut for the senior side. This was, however, before Feyi-Waboso failed to secure a place on the medical programme at Cardiff University, causing him to leave Wales and eventually sign for Wasps in 2022 – a side closer to his new place of study, Aston University.

In what should have been a place to grow and develop further as a player, Feyi-Waboso’s time at Wasps was cut short alongside everyone else as the club entered administration – eventually disbanding. It was then that Exeter Chiefs, knowing they had a rebuilding job ahead of them, themselves, chose to bring the 6 foot winger on board.

Sadly for Feyi-Waboso, his time on the field didn’t last too long on Sunday, as he was forced off with an injury just 10 minutes later. Exeter boss Rob Baxter was optimistic about the injury, however: “Hopefully Manny’s not too bad because he was saying he was feeling something and couldn’t open up, but hopefully we’ve got him off before too much damage is done.”

Should he remain fit and get a good run of matches under his belt, then there’s no doubt that his name will be bounced around the Welsh selection whiteboard ahead of the 2024 Six Nations. Speaking just recently, he’s given a very clear indication that despite being eligible for England, his heart remains red.

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