Sireli Naqelevuki: Fiji centre could leave Exeter in the summer

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Sireli Naqelevuki
Renowned for his powerful runs, Sireli Naqelevuki has long been a favourite of the Sandy Park crowd

Exeter's Fiji international centre Sireli Naqelevuki could leave the club at the end of the season.

The 34-year-old has played just three times this campaign and last started a Premiership game in March 2013.

"People are well aware that he's had a few injury issues so far this season and he's getting on a little bit," Exeter head coach Rob Baxter said.

"Whether we'll see Sireli back in the centre in an Exeter Chiefs shirt is too early to say."

Naqelevuki's contract at Sandy Park runs out this summer and he has had little success in plans to convert to a forward.

Since joining from Super Rugby side Stormers in 2010 he established himself as a fans' favourite, with his bursting runs from midfield, and scored 14 tries for the club.

Sireli Naqelevuki
Made his Premiership debut against Northampton Saints in October 2010
His three appearances this season have all been as a replacement in the European Challenge Cup
Scored his last try for Exeter against Harlequins in the LV= Cup in November 2013

"Sireli's been a very important part of what we've achieved in the Premiership and he's been an absolute pleasure to coach and work with," Baxter added to BBC Sport.

"Some of my best moments coaching and watching us perform on the pitch has been when Sireli's had the ball in his hands - some of the things he's done for us have been fantastic.

"It would have been great to have had him 10 years younger, he would have been a player in the Premiership year on year.

"It's also a bit of a shame that injuries have caught up with him now, but that won't change anything that he's achieved for us, or the respect and the admiration we have for him."