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14 Gallagher Premiership players exiting the league

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

A bevvy of top rugby players in the Gallagher Premiership will be leaving for new challenges overseas next season.


Here’s a look at 14 big names departing English rugby at the end of this term.

Rob Simmons to Clermont from London Irish
Former Wallabies lock Rob Simmons joined London Irish in 2020 and played an important role in their squad since. He’s set to join French side Clermont for the upcoming season.

David Ribbans to Toulon from Northampton Saints
It’s not exactly an ideal bellwether for English rugby when an in-situ England lock heads abroad.  Northampton lock David Ribbans has done exactly that and is set to join Toulon.

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Jack Nowell to La Rochelle from Exeter
Long rumoured, the England back three star appears to be the latest senior Chiefs player to head to the exit and out of the country, following hot on the heels of a number of his Exeter teammates.

Joe Simmonds to Pau from Exeter
Exeter Chiefs’ playmaker Joe Simmonds has been a key player for the club, leading them to a Premiership and European Champions Cup double in 2020. Although it hasn’t been officially confirmed, the talented fly-half is set to join French Top 14 club Pau for the upcoming season.

Luke Cowan-Dickie to Montpellier from Exeter
Cowan-Dickie has been a stalwart for the side since making his debut in 2011 as an 18-year-old. A question mark still remains over a potential G3 ban on him playing rugby in France [due to a neck injury], but if he can get over that hurdle it appears he’s set to join French side Montpellier for the 2023-24 season.

Sam Simmonds to Montpellier from Exeter
Brother of Joe, Sam Simmonds is a prolific number eight who has been in exceptional form for Exeter in recent years. His move to Montpellier in the Top 14 will give the British & Irish Lion a chance to showcase his skills on a new stage. He leaves despite finally breaking into the wider England squad.


Semi Radradra to Lyon from Bristol Bears
Fijian superstar Semi Radradra was a marquee signing for Bristol Bears in 2020 and played a key role for the Ashton Gate-based side when not injured. He’s set to join French side Lyon and continue his impressive form.

Harry Williams to Montpellier from Exeter
The Exeter tighthead has been a reliable presence for the club, helping them win multiple titles over the years. He’s set to join his buddies in Montpellier in France for the upcoming season.


Jannes Kirsten to the Bulls in South Africa from Exeter
Exeter lock Jannes Kirsten has been a valuable member of Rob Baxter’s forward pack and helped them win the Premiership in 2020. He’s set to return to his native South Africa and join Jake White’s Bulls for the 2023 season.

Wilco Louw to Bulls from Harlequins
Another major signing for the Bulls, Harlequins prop Louw is heading home after he played his part in their Quins’ Premiership triumph the season before last.


Dave Ewers to Ulster from Exeter
Giant back row behemoth Ewers has been a consistent performer for the club and helped them win the Gallagher Premiership and Champions Cup double in 2020. He’s set to join Irish province Ulster for the upcoming URC season.

Jake Polledri to Zebre Parma from Gloucester
Another URC switcher, Gloucester back-rower Jake Polledri has been a standout player for the Cherry & Whites and has earned international recognition with Italy. After battling back from injury in recent seasons, he is set to join Italian side Zebre Parma.

Tomasso Allen to Perpignan from Harlequins
Harlequins fly-half Tomasso Allen has been a key player for the West Londoners since joining in 2019. He’s set to join French side Perpignan for the 2023-24 season.

Charles Piutau – released by Bristol Bears
It’s not been confirmed where exactly he is going but one thing is clear, the purported million-pound man is leaving Bristol. At 31 years old, it’s unlikely he’ll be hanging up his boots just yet and another Gallagher Premiership seems unlikely.



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RUGBYPASS+ Adam Hastings: 'When you're injured, you question a lot of things' Adam Hastings: 'When you're injured, you question a lot of things'