Gladiators star Fury quits Exeter Chiefs with immediate effect for new opportunity - Ruck

Gladiators star Fury quits Exeter Chiefs with immediate effect for new opportunity

Exeter Chiefs Women’s winger Jodie Ounsley has agreed an early release from the club, departing Sandy Park with immediate effect to focus on other opportunities.

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The England 7s player has made eight Chiefs appearances and scored three tries since joining the club in the summer of 2022.

Ounsley made her debut in the then Premier 15s league in November 2022 in a clash against rivals Gloucester-Hartpury. She was primed for a stellar season in 2023/24 before a shoulder injury sidelined her plans.

Hanging up her scrum cap is a decision which Ounsley has given tremendous thought to as she says she will leave the game with many fond memories.

“Stepping away from the rugby field has been one of the most difficult decisions of my life. This sport has given me opportunities, friendships, and memories that I could only have dreamt of, and I will forever be grateful to the wonderful community at the Exeter Chiefs for making this feel like home.

“Whilst I am excited for opportunities around the corner, this is certainly not goodbye and I will continue to be a fervent supporter of women’s rugby and with the Rugby World Cup on the horizon, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for our sport.”

Arriving at Sandy Park from Sale Sharks Women in 2022, Ounsley had already established herself as an inspiration for youngsters growing up deaf who harboured dreams of a professional sporting career.

Originally following in the footsteps of her father who was a former professional mixed martial artist, Ounsley was crowned British Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion before turning her hand to rugby union.

In more recent times, Ounsley has reached a whole new demographic of fans as ‘Fury’ in the 2024 BBC reboot of Gladiators.

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Given Holly’s familial background with her father Ian being a former England U20 and Saxons player as well as Waterloo’s director of rugby, it made perfect sense for her to pursue rugby.

Aitchison herself boasts an impressive resume, having represented England in various capacities, including age-grade levels, the HSBC World Sevens Series, and even at the Olympic Games for Team GB.

Joining Saracens in 2020 marked the beginning of her remarkable journey, highlighted by scoring a try during her England 15s debut in 2021. This momentum carried her to the starting lineup for the 2021 Rugby World Cup final and secured her a spot in Simon Middleton’s Six Nations squad in 2023.

Demonstrating her prowess, she played a pivotal role in the Red Roses’ victorious campaign at the inaugural WXV1 tournament in New Zealand. Now, Holly’s achievements continue to flourish as she recently earned a place in John Mitchell’s squad for the 2024 Guinness Women’s Six Nations.

Follow her on Instagram here.