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Exeter statement: The exit of Dave Ewers

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Bob Bradford/CameraSport via Getty Images)

Dave Ewers has become the latest big name to quit Exeter for the 2023/24 season, the back-rower following Sam Simmonds and Luke Cowan-Dickie out through an exit door that could also include Jack Nowell. While Simmonds and Cowan-Dickie are heading to France to join Montpellier, Ewers is off to Ireland after agreeing to a deal with Dan McFarland’s Ulster.

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A Tuesday lunchtime statement read: “Exeter Chiefs can today confirm that long-serving forward Dave Ewers will be leaving the Gallagher Premiership club at the end of the current campaign to join United Rugby Championship side, Ulster Rugby.

“The 32-year-old has been a stand-out figure for the Chiefs over many years, so far amassing 226 first-team games and 38 tries for the Devon club. A product of the club’s highly successful academy system, Ewers made his debut back in 2009 in a British and Irish Cup fixture away to Newport at Rodney Parade.

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“Since then, he has helped the club to lift the LV= Cup in 2014, as well as two Premiership Rugby titles, as well a Heineken Champions Cup crown. A destructive ball carrier, as well as a robust defender, it remains a mystery how Ewers has never been capped at Test level.

“A consistent performer on the big stage, he is the third confirmed departure at the end of the season, joining Luke Cowan-Dickie and Sam Simmonds, both of whom are joining French Top 14 outfit Montpellier.”

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Ewers said: “Obviously, I’m gutted to be leaving Exeter. It has been my life for so many years and I’ve been blessed to have made so many happy memories as well as life-long friends. To sum up all those years in words is incredibly tough to do, but it’s been an unbelievable journey and one that I am very proud to have been part of.

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“Like all good things, they have to come to an end at some stage and now I have a new chapter in my career to look forward to with Ulster. Between now and then, I have a big job to do here at the Chiefs and I will be doing everything I can to ensure that my final months with Exeter are the best they can be.”

Ulster boss McFarland added in a separate statement: “Dave has demonstrated over a terrific career at Exeter that he loves to carry ball and is one of the top gainline winning forwards in the Premiership. His size, work rate, and skillset will dovetail nicely with our other back rows.”

Ewers said: ““Ulster is a proud club with a reputation on the pitch which reaches far and wide, and I look forward to calling myself one of the Ulster men from next season onwards. I have made many memories with Exeter Chiefs over the years, and now I’m excited to see what this next chapter in my career holds as part of a club with big goals.”

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