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Exeter Chiefs have confirmed they've released Will Witty

By Ian Cameron
: Will Witty the Exeter Chiefs lock, celebrates after scoring their third try despite being held by Will Cliff (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Exeter Chiefs have confirmed that the club has agreed to release second row Will Witty from his contract with the Gallagher Premiership club.

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The Yorkshireman will join French Top 14 side Perpignan ahead of the 2022/23 season after he approached the club for a release.

Witty (27) joined the Chiefs in 2019 from Newcastle Falcons and went on to play 30 times for the Devon club, scoring five tries in his time at Sandy Park.

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Wales captain Dan Biggar previews the first Test of a three-match series against the World Cup champions Springboks on Saturday

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Wales captain Dan Biggar previews the first Test of a three-match series against the World Cup champions Springboks on Saturday

“Will approached me and asked if he could be released from his contract early as an opportunity to play over in France had arisen for him,” Exeter Chiefs Director of Rugby Rob Baxter, said. “Like any player, Will wants to play regular rugby and with such competition in our back five, the challenge is always going to be there for him.

“Since he arrived from Newcastle in 2019, he’s been a great servant to the club, on and off the field, and has brought some real quality and commitment to the squad. As I said, I never want to stand in the way of any player who feels they can progress their career, and he leaves the club with our very best wishes for the future.”

Witty admitted that it was a tough decision to leave. “It was a tough decision to make in terms of my career. Coming to a top club like Exeter was like a dream come true for me and I leave having made some amazing memories.

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“I’ll be forever grateful to Rob, Ali and the rest of the coaches for giving me the opportunity to come to Exeter. It’s been an amazing few years and I’ve made life-long friends. Now, I’ve got a new challenge in France. It’s kind of been a whirlwind few days getting things sorted, but I am looking forward to testing myself in the Top 14 and seeing how I go over there.”

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Turlough 4 hours ago
'Let them keep talking' - Mike Catt claps back over Bok remarks

“You want that – not hatred – but whatever it is that stirs it all up. It’s good.” Agree with this. If you can put a common motivating idea in all your players heads during a game it can produce a real Team perfromance. Erasmus is pretty expert at this. It is quite clear that the comments by Etzebeth, Allende and others were not coincidence and were actioned to create animoisty before the series in order to galvanise the South African mind set. While I understand it, I don’t like it. They result in unnessary vitriol between supporters and for what? I don’t think any of the SA players seriously believe any of these claims and with Ireland ignoring them Erasmus won’t get the escalation he seeks. The vitriol shown by some SA and indeed NZ supporters is extremely weird for NH supporters (OK, maybe England have felt it) but it just feels very odd over a sport. Ireland were more or less sh1t for the first 100 years of their rugby, they have improved significantly in the last 25 to be in a position around now (it may not last) to go into a match with the big guns with a real shot of winning. The reaction to this from some SH supporters has been bizarre with conspiracy theories of ‘Arrogance’ fueling abuse from supporters and even NZ players to Irish crowds during the world cup. I love International rugby and the comraderie between supporters. I genuinely dread and dislike the atmosphere around games with the southern giants. They take this very personally. NH teams: play them, try and beat them, enjoy the craic with their players and supporters and wish them well. SH teams wish them well and they call you arrogant in the press months later. Its just a matter of try and beat them and then good riddance til the next time.

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