The Chiefs have had an interesting few years. They reached the pinnacle of English and European rugby back in 2020 after winning both the Premiership and the European Cup. It was a fairytale story of a club building from a Championship side to become the most elite side in northern hemisphere club rugby.
Their journey took little over ten years and was revered for being one of the most impressive club rises to date. In the two and a half years since, they have continued to teeter around that majestic mark, albeit not quite hitting it. Their most impressive achievement since was reaching the Premiership final, but falling short after an enthralling game against Harlequins.
There are very few indications that Exeter will reach those heights anytime soon following recent news. It has been announced over the past few months that various key players will be exiting the Devon-based side, with many of them heading to the sunny south of France instead.
Sam Simmonds and Luke Cowan-Dickie are already confirmed to be heading to Montpellier at the end of the season, with rumours of Jack Nowell looking to join them.
Out of the winning squad of players that brought the European trophy home for Exeter, many of them have already moved on to pastures new. Tom O’Flaherty, Jonny Hill, Sam Skinner, Tomas Francis, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Gareth Steenson, Nic White, Matt Kvesic, Don Armand and Alex Cuthbert to name just a few.
Well, the mass exodus of Exter doesn’t appear to be slowing down as of yet. Today it has been confirmed that long-serving Dave Ewers is also set to depart following the conclusion of the season. Ewers will be heading to Ireland to join up with Ulster Rugby. The 32-year-old back-rower will leave as a club legend after amassing 216 senior appearances for Exeter over the years, scoring 38 tries.
Ulster head coach Dan McFarland was enthusiastic about his new signing: “Dave will add depth and further experience to our back row. Dave has demonstrated over a terrific career at Exeter that he loves to carry ball and is one of the top gain-line winning forwards in the Premiership. His size, work rate and skillset will dovetail nicely with our other back rows,”
Ewers had his say regarding the move: “Ulster is a proud club with a reputation on the pitch which reaches far and wide, and I look forward to calling myself one of the Ulster men from next season onwards.
“I have made many memories with Exeter Chiefs over the years, and now I’m excited to see what this next chapter in my career holds as part of a club with big goals.”
Teams tend to run in cycles, whether that be international or club level, so Exeter best get peddling.