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Exeter Chiefs – Rugby Union Club Team

A football match in progress at a stadium with spectators during sunset.

Ever wondered what makes the Exeter Chiefs such a formidable force in rugby union? Established way back in 1871, this Devon-based club carries with it a rich history and an impressive haul of achievements.

Whether you’re a die-hard fan or new to the sport, our guide on the Exeter Chiefs will tackle everything from player highlights to how you can get involved with the team. Dive in for an epic journey through the heart of English rugby!

Key Takeaways

  • Exeter Chiefs have a storied heritage in English rugby since 1871, with significant achievements including two Premiership titles in 2017 and 2020 and victories across all four tiers of English competitions.
  • Their Women’s XV teams showcase the club’s commitment to promoting women’s rugby, offering equal opportunities for female players to thrive within the sport.
  • The team prides itself on developing homegrown talent through their academy system, providing young aspiring rugby stars with pathways into professional play.
  • Community involvement is key to the club’s ethos, with youth sections and support programmes that encourage local participation and development in rugby union.
  • The name “Exeter Chiefs” reflects Devonshire indigenous culture, symbolising strength and leadership akin to their status within the sport.

About Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Chiefs is a professional rugby union club based in Exeter, Devon. The club has a rich history and has achieved significant success in the Premiership Rugby league. How they got their name is an interesting story that reflects the heritage of the region.

History of the club

The roots of the Exeter Chiefs stretch back to 1871, marking them as one of England’s most historic rugby clubs. They kicked off their journey as Exeter Rugby Club and have proudly represented Devon in various competitions over the years.

By winning top honors across all four tiers of English rugby, including two Premiership titles in 2017 and 2020, they’ve cemented their place in the sport’s elite.

Sandy Park has witnessed many triumphs since becoming the team’s fortress, with a fan base that cherishes every scrum, try, and tackle. Notable is their rise from semi-professional ranks in the 1990s to full professional status under the Exeter Chiefs’ banner—a name that harks back to club traditions from the 1930s.

Their successful past continues to inspire both players on their current roster and those who aspire to join this distinguished squad.

How they got their name

Exeter Rugby Club embraced the name “Exeter Chiefs” in the late 1990s, echoing a long-standing tradition that goes back to the 1930s. The nickname “Chiefs” reflects the club’s deep connection to Devonshire and its indigenous culture.

This title embodies strength and leadership, resonating with Exeter Chiefs’ standing as a storied institution within English rugby union. It symbolises their role as trailblazers and epitomises their commitment to excellence on and off the field.

Moving forward to our next section – “Achievements and accolades,” let’s explore how Exeter Chiefs have marked their place in rugby history.

Achievements and accolades

Exeter Chiefs have a remarkable history of achievements and accolades:

  1. Winning the Premiership in 2017 and 2020, showing their dominance at the top level of English rugby.
  2. Conquering the RFU Championship in 2010, marking their strength and determination in climbing through the ranks.
  3. Securing victories in the National League 1, solidifying their position as a force to be reckoned with across different tiers of rugby.
  4. Hosting the first game against the Barbarians in 1891, highlighting their long-standing legacy in the sport.

Players of Exeter Chiefs

The Exeter Chiefs boast a talented roster of forwards and backs, including experienced veterans and up-and-coming talent from their academy. With a strong focus on developing homegrown players, the club is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of rugby stars.


Exeter Chiefs’ forward pack is a formidable force on the rugby field. Their strength and skill are crucial to the team’s success in domestic and European competitions.

NamePositionNationalityNotable Achievements
Luke Cowan-DickieHookerEnglishPremiership Winner, International Caps for England
Alec HepburnPropEnglishPremiership and European Rugby Champions Cup Winner
Harry WilliamsPropEnglishRepresented England, Premiership and European Championships titles
Jonny HillLockEnglishInternational player for England, Premiership Champion
Sam SimmondsNumber 8EnglishEuropean Player of the Year, England International
Dave EwersFlankerEnglishKey player in Premiership and European victories
Jannes KirstenFlankerSouth AfricanStrong contributor to the Chiefs’ forward dominance

Forward players such as Luke Cowan-Dickie and Sam Simmonds have helped Exeter Chiefs claim victory in the top tiers of English rugby. All forwards at Sandy Park contribute to the legacy that began back in 1871, continuously shaping the club into a powerhouse of the rugby world.


The backs form an integral part of the Exeter Chiefs team, contributing to their dynamic and effective playing style. These players are essential for launching attacking moves, carrying out tactical kicks, and providing crucial support to the forwards during matches. With a combination of speed, agility, and strategic decision-making, the backs play a pivotal role in creating scoring opportunities and maintaining defensive solidity on the field. Their skillset is vital in executing quick passes, evading opponents’ tackles, and breaking through opposition defense lines.

In addition to their on-field contributions, the backs are instrumental in fostering team spirit and unity within Exeter Chiefs. By exemplifying leadership qualities and dedication to performance improvement, they elevate the overall standard of play for both themselves and their teammates. As key influencers during training sessions and match preparations, they inspire confidence among supporters while ensuring that Exeter Chiefs remain competitive at all levels of English rugby union.

Academy players and contracts

Moving on from the key players in the squad, Exeter Chiefs have a thriving academy system that grooms young talent for the future. The club has a strong commitment to nurturing homegrown talent and developing promising rugby players. With a focus on long-term success, Exeter Chiefs offer contracts to their academy players, ensuring they have an opportunity to progress and contribute to the first team in the coming years.

The academy aims to provide top-quality coaching and training facilities for aspiring rugby stars, offering them a pathway into professional rugby. Contracts are awarded to talented individuals who show potential and dedication, giving them the chance to learn from experienced professionals within the club while honing their skills for future success. This investment in youth reflects Exeter Chiefs’ dedication to building a sustainable legacy of excellence within their ranks.

Latest News

Stay up to date with the latest transfers, matches, and team updates from Exeter Chiefs. Read on for all of the latest news and developments.


Exeter Chiefs have made notable transfers to strengthen their squad.

  1. The signing of Jonny Gray brought in an experienced lock from Glasgow Warriors, adding depth to the team’s forward pack. Gray’s powerful presence and defensive prowess have bolstered the Chiefs’ set-piece and overall defensive solidity.
  2. Coming from the Gallagher Premiership rival club Northampton Saints, Sam Skinner returned to Exeter after a loan spell in 2015. His versatility as a second-row or back-row player has provided valuable options for the team’s tactical formations.
  3. Facundo Cordero, a highly promising talent from Argentina, joined Exeter Chiefs as a dynamic utility back. His agility and attacking flair have injected creativity into the team’s backline play, contributing to their attacking game plan.
  4. Josh Hodge’s addition from Newcastle Falcons has further enriched the Chiefs’ options at fullback and wing positions. Hodge’s speed and precision in kicking have been valuable assets for the team’s attacking strategies and tactical plays.
  5. The acquisition of Will Witty added another proficient lock to Exeter Chiefs’ roster, enhancing their lineout capabilities and providing additional depth in crucial areas of the game.
  6. Jannes Kirsten’s expertise as a versatile forward has been evident since his transfer to Exeter Chiefs from Super Rugby side Bulls, offering adaptability across multiple positions within the forward pack.
  7. As part of maintaining depth and quality within the squad, Corey Baldwin’s arrival from Ospreys has reinforced the team’s options in the midfield positions with his physicality and attacking skillset.
  8. Experienced scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne’s move to Exeter Chiefs provides added experience and leadership qualities to support the team during high-stakes matches and crucial game moments.

Matches and results

Exeter Chiefs’ recent matches and results:

  1. The team recently played a thrilling match against [Opposing Team] on [Date], with an impressive [Score] victory at Sandy Park.
  2. In the match against [Opposing Team] on [Date], the Exeter Chiefs showcased their prowess, securing a [Score] win and displaying exceptional teamwork.
  3. Facing off against [Opposing Team] on [Date], the Exeter Chiefs demonstrated their resilience, resulting in an outstanding [Score] triumph at Sandy Park.
  4. It was an exhilarating clash as the Exeter Chiefs triumphed over [Opposing Team] with a remarkable [Score] victory on [Date].

Team updates and developments

With the latest matches and results, Exeter Chiefs have been actively evolving their strategies and refining their gameplay. The coaching staff has been focusing on honing the team’s skills, particularly in defense and set-piece execution.

In addition to this, the club has made significant strides in expanding its youth development program, aiming to nurture young talent for future success. Notably, there have been updates in player contract negotiations, with efforts to retain key players while also scouting for potential additions to bolster the squad.

These developments reflect the club’s commitment to sustained growth and competitiveness within the rugby union landscape.

Furthermore, Exeter Chiefs continue to invest in technological advancements and data analytics to enhance performance analysis and sports science support for their players. This proactive approach illustrates a dedication to staying at the forefront of innovation within professional sports teams.

Exeter Chiefs and Women’s Rugby

The Exeter Chiefs also have a strong presence in women’s rugby, with their Women’s XV teams and women players within the club. They are actively promoting women’s rugby through various initiatives.

Women’s XV teams

Exeter Chiefs actively support women’s rugby with their Women’s XV teams, striving to provide opportunities and a platform for female players to excel in the sport. The club has made significant efforts to promote gender equality in rugby by developing and nurturing women’s teams, ensuring they receive the same level of support and recognition as their male counterparts.

Women’s players within Exeter Chiefs are an integral part of the club, contributing their skills and passion to the success of the team. With a commitment to fostering talent at every level, including women’s rugby, Exeter Chiefs continue to play a pivotal role in advancing the growth and prominence of women’s rugby within England.

Women’s players in the club

Exeter Chiefs has an established presence in women’s rugby, with talented female players contributing to the club’s success. The team actively supports women’s rugby through its Women’s XV teams, providing a platform for female players to showcase their skills and compete at a high level.

  • Women’s XV teams: The club fields competitive women’s XV teams, fostering talent and promoting the growth of women’s rugby within the community.
  • Women’s players in the club: Exeter Chiefs have notable female players who demonstrate skill and dedication on the field, representing the club with pride and determination.
  • Efforts in promoting women’s rugby: The club is committed to advancing women’s rugby, offering opportunities for aspiring female athletes to develop their abilities and excel in the sport.

Efforts in promoting women’s rugby

Exeter Chiefs actively promote women’s rugby through their Women’s XV teams and by encouraging women’s players within the club. They have dedicated resources to developing the women’s side of the sport, providing opportunities for female athletes to excel in rugby.

The club has also been involved in community initiatives and outreach programs aimed at increasing participation and awareness of women’s rugby, showcasing their commitment to gender equality in the sport.

Get Involved

Support Exeter Chiefs by attending matches, joining the youth section or getting involved in community initiatives. Aspiring rugby players can also explore opportunities to be a part of the team through various pathways.

Supporting the team

Exeter Chiefs, the pride of English rugby, thrive on the unwavering support from their fans. Your presence at Sandy Park boosts the team’s morale and energises them to excel on the field.

Engage with Exeter Chiefs through official social media channels to stay updated on fixtures, live scores, and player statistics. Consider attending matches in person or supporting from home to contribute to the electric atmosphere that drives the team forward.

Exeter Chiefs count on their loyal supporters to create an environment where both players and fans are united by a shared passion for rugby. Embrace opportunities for community involvement and youth engagement provided by the club.

Youth section and community involvement

For fans looking to get involved beyond the matches, Exeter Chiefs offer a vibrant youth section and actively engage with the community. The club provides opportunities for young rugby enthusiasts to develop their skills through coaching sessions, training camps, and access to professional players for guidance and inspiration.

Additionally, Exeter Chiefs prioritise community involvement by organising events, outreach programmes, and initiatives that support local charities. Through their commitment to nurturing young talent and engaging with the community, the Exeter Chiefs continue to foster a strong connection between the club and its supporters while contributing positively to the development of grassroots rugby in Devon.

These efforts are also aimed at promoting inclusivity within rugby by offering accessible pathways for aspiring players regardless of background or gender. The club’s dedication towards fostering a supportive environment for youth players showcases their commitment to building a sustainable future for both the sport of rugby as well as its surrounding communities.

Opportunities for aspiring rugby players

Aspiring rugby players have the chance to join Exeter Chiefs’ academy program, offering a pathway to professional rugby. The club provides coaching and development opportunities for young talents, aiming to nurture future stars.

Exeter Chiefs prioritise youth development, actively scouting and recruiting promising players from local clubs and schools.

Talented individuals can pursue contracts with Exeter Chiefs or gain experience through the club’s youth section, laying the foundation for a successful career in rugby. With their commitment to fostering emerging talent, Exeter Chiefs offer a valuable platform for aspiring rugby players to hone their skills and make strides in the sport.


Exeter Chiefs, the English professional rugby club based in Devon, boasts a rich history dating back to 1871. Their achievements in winning the top four tiers of English rugby underline their competitive spirit on the field.

With ongoing efforts to promote women’s rugby and engage with the community through youth programs, Exeter Chiefs continue to make an impact beyond just matches and trophies. Whether you’re a long-time fan or new to the sport, there are numerous ways to get involved and support this renowned club.


1. Who are the Exeter Chiefs?

The Exeter Chiefs are a professional rugby union club team competing at high levels in various championships.

2. Where can I find the latest player roster for the Exeter Chiefs?

You can check out updated lists of players and their positions for the Exeter Chiefs on their official website or through recent rugby news articles.

3. How can I stay informed about what’s happening with the Exeter Chiefs?

For up-to-date information, follow rugby news outlets, visit the club’s official site or social media channels to catch all updates on matches and team announcements.

4. Do the Exeter Chiefs play in different tournaments throughout the year?

Yes, they participate in several competitions both domestically and internationally, showcasing their skills against other top-tier rugby union clubs.

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