"Seven of 23 Remain" Exeter Chiefs lose Majority of 2020 Champions Cup Winning Squad - Ruck

“Seven of 23 Remain” Exeter Chiefs lose Majority of 2020 Champions Cup Winning Squad

Exeter Chiefs have entered a definitive era of change, with a ‘mass player exodus’ taking place at Sandy Park. Due to the Premiership’s reduced salary cap, the Chiefs can no longer afford all of their first team stars, and have been forced to accept moves overseas from the highest bidders.

Sam Simmonds of Exeter Chiefs on the break during the Aviva Premiership Match between Exeter Chiefs and Sale Sharks at Sandy Park, Exeter, Devon, England. – PHOTO: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Just under three seasons ago, Exeter Chiefs were crowned as Heineken Champions Cup winners. A dramatic finale against Parisian giants Racing 92, saw the Chiefs lift the pinnacle of European club rugby at Bristol’s Ashton Gate. However, following a series of player departures, just five stars intend to stay with the Chiefs, from the matchday squad of 23.

Here is the Exeter Chiefs squad that lifted the 2020 Champions Cup, and where they are now, or will be going soon.

15. Stuart Hogg – Retiring after the 2023 Rugby World Cup

14. Jack Nowell – Confirmed move to La Rochelle

13. Henry Slade – Staying with Exeter Chiefs

Try Celebrations for Henry Slade of England as he goes over for a try during the Autumn Nations International Series match between England and South Africa at Twickenham, London on 26 November 2022 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

12. Ian Whitten – Retiring at the end of the Premiership Season

11. Tom O’Flaherty – Joined Sale Sharks in 2022

10. Joe Simmonds – Expected to move to Pau

Joe Simmonds of Exeter Chiefs looks for a pass during the Premiership Rugby Cup Final match between London Irish and Exeter Chiefs at The Gtech Community Stadium, London on 19 March 2023 (Photo: Danny Loo/PPAUK)

9. Jack Maunder – Staying with Exeter Chiefs

  1. Alec Hepburn – Staying with Exeter Chiefs

2. Luke Cowan-Dickie – Confirmed move to Montpellier

Exeter Chiefs player Luke Cowan-Dickie during the warm up before Gallagher Premiership Match between Wasps and Exeter Chiefs at the Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry on October 16th – PHOTO: Steve Bond/PPAUK

3. Harry Williams – Confirmed move to Montpellier

4. Jonny Gray – Staying with Exeter Chiefs

5. Jonny Hill – Sale Sharks in 2022

Jonny Hill of England during the Match between England and Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium on 19 June 2022. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

6. Dave Ewers – Confirmed Move to Ulster

7. Jacques Vermeulen – Staying with Exeter Chiefs

8. Sam Simmonds – Confirmed move to Montpellier

Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 7 caps) during England Rugby training session at The Lensbury Hotel, Teddington, London on 28 Sept 2021. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

16. Jack Yeandle – Staying with Exeter Chiefs

17. Ben Moon – Retiring at the end of the season

18. Tomas Francis – Joined Ospreys in 2021

EXETER, ENGLAND – JULY 9: Tomas Francis of Exeter Chiefs during a training session at Sandy Park on July 9, 2020 in Exeter, England. Exeter Chiefs training under the Premiership Rugby move to Stage Two of the Return to Play protocol. (Photo by Phil Mingo/PPAUK)

19. Sam Skinner – Joined Edinburgh in 2022

20. Jannes Kirsten – Confirmed move to the Vodacom Bulls

21. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne – Joined Benetton in 2022

Exeter Chiefs player Jannes Kirsten during the warm up before the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Sale Sharks and Exeter Chiefs at the AJ Bell Stadium on October 1st. Photo: Steve Bond/PPAUK

22. Gareth Steenson – Retired at end of 2022 season

23. Ollie Devoto – Staying with Exeter Chiefs