"All over" - Three Exeter Chiefs legends announce retirement - Ruck

“All over” – Three Exeter Chiefs legends announce retirement

Exeter Chiefs have announced that three of their seasoned players will retire from Premiership rugby by the end of the 2022/23 season, earning the status of ‘legends’.

This news comes amidst a flurry of reports in recent weeks about their star athletes departing for foreign clubs.

Along with the retirements, the team will also witness the departure of several other players at the end of the season, including Sam Simmonds, Joe Simmonds, Harry Williams, Jannes Kirsten, and Dave Ewers, with Jack Nowell anticipated to follow suit.

You can see the full list here.


#1. Ian Whitten

After spending 11 years at Sandy Park, the twice-capped Ireland back, who is 35 years old, has announced his retirement from professional rugby this summer.

During his time at Exeter, he was part of the squad for four out of the team's six Premiership finals and played as a starter in their 2020 Champions Cup final victory against Racing 92 in Bristol.

"It's a sad thing admitting to yourself that you can't play professional rugby forever," he told BBC Radio Devon.

"I have enjoyed it, it's been a great club to play for, it's a party that you don't ever want to end.

"But at the same time you can only keep up for so long and you don't want to hang on and hang on until the bitter end until everybody's laughing at you because you're so old. 

"It was difficult, but it feels like I've made the right decision.

"The club's heading towards a new era, they're going to be building a new team, and at my age I was never going to be part of a new team. 

"Body-wise, recovering after a game and being able to train during the week, from that regard as well it feels like it's the right time."

Ian Whitten of Exeter Chiefs on the break during the Gallagher Premiership match between Exeter Chiefs and Sale Sharks at Sandy Park, Exeter on 26th February 2023. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK