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'A new challenge' - Scotland international departs Exeter Chiefs for URC

By Kim Ekin
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne

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Former Scotland nine Sam Hidalgo-Clyne is set to leave Exeter Chiefs at the end of the season, the club have confirmed.

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The 28-year-old has signed a three-year deal with Italian United Rugby Championship side Benetton Rugby.

Hidalgo-Clyne arrived at Sandy Park in 2020 from French side Lyon and went on to make 29 appearances, scoring four tries in a two-year spell at Sandy Park.

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“I’ve had an incredible time here,” he told the Exeter Chiefs’ website. “Coming in at the start of Covid, nobody really knew what was happening, so I was kind of thrown in at the deep end. That said, to come away from that first season with the double was just amazing. Equally, I’ve had lots of other fantastic memories, both personally and with my family, so I am very appreciative to all the support I have received.”

“It’s a new challenge for me, certainly something different. Obviously, I am going back into the United Rugby Championship, so I know about that league and what comes with it. Equally, I will miss playing in the Premiership, which offers such a challenge every week.

“Right now, I’ve got a few months left here at Exeter and my sole focus is on helping the team achieve everything they can. When I spoke to Rob [Baxter] to tell him of my decision, the first thing I said was that I just wanted to put my best foot forward and help do everything I can to make this season a success.

“Like every player here, I have that hunger to win silverware and I want to do everything I can to achieve that. The bond we have as a squad is fantastic and being part of the Chiefs these last few years has been an amazing part of my career. I’ll miss quite a bit of this place, especially those bus trips home, so I want to make sure I finish on a high note.”

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Hidalgo-Clyne gave a special mention to skills coach Ricky Pellow.

“Ricky is just terrific,” he added. “There are not many clubs you go to and you have your own specialist scrum-half coach, but the work he does above and beyond for all of the nines here is just brilliant. He, along with all the coaches, have really helped to develop my game and I can’t thank them enough.”

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