Hooker Neil Clark to leave Exeter Chiefs for France

Neil Clark

Exeter Chiefs hooker Neil Clark is to leave the Premiership club after signing a two-year deal with newly-promoted French side Oyonnax.

The 31-year-old has played 187 times for the Chiefs, scoring 14 tries, in two spells at Sandy Park.

"I'm aware that I don't have all that many years left in me at the top end of the game," said Clark.

"To get an opportunity to play in France is something I've always wanted at some stage in my career."

That career began at Exeter and he left in 2003 to join Bristol.

After spending the 2006-07 season at Bath he moved to Launceston, before rejoining Exeter in 2008.

This season he has found game time limited by the emergence of Jack Yeandle and Chris Whitehead

"Leaving the Chiefs is one of the toughest decisions I've had to make in my life," he said.

"Exeter rugby has had such an effect on me, not just in terms of playing, but in terms of my life as well. It's a fantastic club and I've enjoyed so many happy memories from my time here.

"Playing in the Premiership and playing in the Heineken Cup have been brilliant, but I think the biggest highlight of my time here was winning the Championship and getting promoted against Bristol.

"I don't think you can ever top that night at Bristol because it meant so much to me for so many different reasons."

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