The star is stepping away from the Premiership club

Gareth Steenson is set to leave Exeter Chiefs after a 16-year association with the club.

Steenson joined Exeter in 2008 and competed for the Chiefs until 2020 when he retired from playing. The 40-year-old won the Championship, Premiership and Champions Cup. After hanging up his boots he then took on a coaching role at the Premiership side.

Read more: Exeter Chiefs exit

He has decided to leave as he will move back home to Northern Ireland with his family.

“It was tough, we’ve been back and forth about this for quite a long time,” added Steenson via the club’s website. “I’d say probably over the last 18 months we’ve talked about the potential of moving back home and we’ve talked about that at great lengths, especially around the kids and the opportunities they are going to get.

“It’s been soul-searching because Exeter’s been a big part of my life, especially my adult life, and it’s given me so many great memories and great opportunities, so I’ll forever be grateful for that, the people like Tony Rowe, Rob Baxter, everyone at the club and, of course, the supporters, who have been amazing.”

Gareth Steenson to leave Exeter

Gareth Steenson on the pitch coaching (Getty Images)

And he added on what it was like to go from a player to a coach: “It was bizarre. Two weeks’ prior, I was sitting in the changing room having a beer with the lads and celebrating arguably the biggest success the club had ever had. Now, I was walking into the coaching office, the door shut behind me, and prepping for a new season. I didn’t know what to wear, what to say, even where I was sitting.”

Steenson will be trying to add to the club’s trophy cabinet before the end of the season. Exeter are bidding to be a part of the Premiership play-offs in order to win the league trophy.

Exeter have two rounds of the regular season to go and are currently in seventh place, just four points outside of the top four.

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