Tom Hayes decides to call it a day because of injury

‘It has been a great journey for me but this is where I get off’

 Tom Hayes: Exeter player has retired with immediate effect because of a back injury

Tom Hayes: Exeter player has retired with immediate effect because of a back injury

 

Exeter boss Rob Baxter has no doubt that former Chiefs captain Tom Hayes will leave a lasting legacy at the Aviva Premiership club.

Hayes, who has retired with immediate effect because of a back injury, was a driving force behind Chiefs’ rise from English rugby’s second-tier Championship to playing Heineken Cup rugby.

The 33-year-old’s announcement that he is stepping down comes with Exeter holding a Premiership title play-off position and having made an impressive start to their European campaign in a group that includes Heineken Cup holders Toulon.

Irishman Hayes, brother of retired international John, joined Exeter from Plymouth, going on to make more than 130 appearances and establishing himself as a catalyst figure at Sandy Park.

“Tom has been a big part of what we’ve done. He has played a lot of game minutes at a very crucial time and he’s led us in some of the biggest games the club has ever played,” Baxter said.

“It has been a great journey for me but this is where I get off,” Hayes said.

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