Richard Baxter

Richard Baxter will say an emotional farewell to life at Exeter Rugby Club when he runs out for his final game in a Chiefs jersey in Saturday’s Aviva Premiership clash with Gloucester at Sandy Park (2pm).

The long-serving No.8, who is poised to make his 431st outing for the Devon club, has decided to call time on his senior career and switch his attentions to life away from the game which has served him so well for so many years.

Since making his first team debut away to Fylde on October 11, 1997 – Baxter has established himself as one of the true greats of the club, helping the ambitious Chiefs to reach the highest echelons of the modern-day game.

A mainstay of the Exeter back-row for countless years, the 34-year-old forward admits his decision to hang up his boots has not been an easy one, but feels the time and the setting is right for him to finally call it a day.

Reflecting on a magnificent career, which to date has brought him 126 tries in total, Baxter said: “It has been an incredible journey. When I first started playing I never thought I would stay with the club for this long, so for to me finish with Exeter being a Premiership club – and having been on that journey with them is just fantastic.

“However, it just feels the right time for me to move on to other things. Not many sportsmen get the chance for it to be their decision, either through loss of form, injuries or a club not wanting you, so it’s just feels the right time.

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