Harry Williams: Exeter prop could be latest player to leave Premiership club

Harry Williams: Exeter prop could be latest player to leave Premiership club


Harry Williams missed out on selection for the England squad at the 2019 World Cup

Exeter’s former England prop Harry Williams could be the latest high-profile player to leave the club.

Reports in France have linked the 31-year-old, who won the last of his 19 England caps in February 2021, with a move to Top 14 side Montpellier.

The French club have already agreed deals with Williams’ Exeter team-mates Sam Simmonds and Luke Cowan-Dickie.

“He’s another one of those guys who’s got an option in his contract,” said Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter.

Williams has played 160 times for Exeter since moving to Sandy Park from Jersey Reds in 2015.

He started in their 2020 Champions Cup final win over Racing 92 as well as in five of the club’s six Premiership final appearances, including the 2017 and 2020 triumphs.

The impact of the reduced salary cap has seen Simmonds, Cowan-Dickie and Dave Ewers all announce they will leave Exeter, while fellow England player Jack Nowell could also leave for France.

“It’s a two-way option, club and player, which means he may well be looking around at options as two or three other of our lads who had options in their last year have done,” added Baxter.

“We’re obviously in communication along those lines, I know which players have got options so I’m keeping our options open and available as to what may or may not happen.”

Cowan-Dickie could return late in season

Luke Cowan-Dickie
Luke Cowan-Dickie scored two tries before limping off against Northampton earlier this month

Meanwhile Baxter is hopeful that Cowan-Dickie has not played his final game for the club.

The hooker, 29, had surgery on an ankle injury he sustained in the defeat by Northampton earlier this month, which has ruled him out of the Six Nations.

Cowan-Dickie has spent his entire professional career at Exeter, going on to win 41 England caps and play in all three Tests on the 2021 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa.

“The length of injury should mean he’s back before the end of the season,” Baxter told BBC Sport.

“The challenge will be whether it’ll be one week, two weeks before the end of the season.

“If we can get some progression games in that gives him a chance to play more games

“It’s not going to be a big chunk of the season that he gets back for.”



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