Rob Baxter says Exeter Chiefs were forced to let Tom Lawday leave in order to abide by the salary cap.
The Chiefs head coach revealed this after Harlequins announced they had signed the forward.
The 25-year-old back row has impressed in his first season with the first team after coming through Chiefs’ academy after attending university in the city.
“You just can’t keep everybody, it’s just not possible,” Baxter said.
✍ NEW SIGNING | Number eight Tom Lawday will join Quins ahead of the 2019/20 season #COYQ— Harlequins 🃏 (@Harlequins) March 21, 2019
“The days of every player who wanted to stay stays at Exeter – they’re gone when you talk about salary caps and successful teams,
“It’s a tough scenario but one you’ve got to get the balance of,
“Would I have liked Tom to stay? Of course I would, he’s come through and played some important games for us.
“Is it possible for him to stay and Dave Dennis to stay and Stuart Hogg to come in and to have Henry Slade, Jack Nowell, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Sam Skinner, Jonny Hill, Matt Kvesic, Nic White, and Ollie Devoto to be here? At some stage you’ve got to make decisions and that’s where we are.”