Kvesic to leave the Chiefs
By Mark Stevens
Matt Kvesic will leave Exeter Chiefs at the end of the 2019/20 season, bringing to an end a three-year stay with the current Gallagher Premiership leaders.
The 28-year-old forward, who has played 58 times and scored 13 tries for the Chiefs, is set to join top-flight rivals Worcester Warriors on a long-term deal.
The move will see Kvesic head back to the club who signed him as a 14-year-old and elevated him through their academy ranks to first team status. He spent six years at Sixways during his first spell with the Midlanders, after which he was signed by Gloucester in 2017.
Kvesic would spend four years at Kingsholm before Chiefs’ Director of Rugby, Rob Baxter, signed him for the Chiefs in the summer of 2017.
In what Kvesic admits himself was an ‘up and down’ first year at Sandy Park, it was last season where the powerful back-row ace truly discovered his best form. A virtual ever-present during the course of the campaign, his displays saw him not only nominated for the Premiership’s Player of the Year award, but he was named in the Premiership’s Dream Team, nominated for the Chiefs’ Player of the Year prize and was second on the club’s try-scoring charts with eight touchdowns.
Commenting on his move away from the Chiefs, Kvesic – who won won the Anglo-Welsh Cup with the club in 2017 – said: "I'm sad to be leaving Exeter and the Chiefs, it's a great place to play rugby, a fantastic place to live, and from the outset the club and the supporters here have been brilliant with me.
"My first year was a bit up and down, but last season was up there as one of my best years, if not my best. Having the chance to string a number of games together allowed me to find my form and play my best rugby.
"Although we lost the Premiership final, which was hugely disappointing, there was a lot to be proud of. I wish the boys all the best in the future. Obviously, we are all experiencing strange times right now, especially with the lockdown and no rugby, but hopefully it won't be too long before we are back out playing again.”
As for the future, Kvesic added: "Obviously, I'm very excited about heading back to Worcester, a club which showed faith in me and gave me an opportunity as 14 year old. For me, it's my hometown club and it's where everything in terms of senior rugby really started.”
"Having the opportunity to go back, working under new coaches and with new team-mates, it's something that really excites me and I'm looking forward to what the future holds and the challenges ahead.”
"I know I am heading back to Worcester a much different and, hopefully, a much improved player from the one that left seven years ago. It's been a massive learning curve for me, full of ups and downs, but I'm going back determined to do my best for Worcester."