Jonny Gray leaves Exeter Chiefs with immediate effect

Parting of ways is by mutual agreement to allow Scotland second-row to "explore other playing opportunities"

Jonny Gray has left Exeter Chiefs with immediate effect. Image: © Craig Watson -
Jonny Gray has left Exeter Chiefs with immediate effect. Image: © Craig Watson -

JONNY GRAY has left Exeter Chiefs with immediate effect by mutual agreement. A statement from the club said the Scotland second-row can now “explore other playing opportunities”.

The 30-year-old has made 48 Chiefs appearances, scoring 10 tries, since moving south from Glasgow Warriors four years ago. He was an integral part of the Chiefs side which secured a Gallagher Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup double of 2020, but has been out of action since dislocating a knee-cap during Exeter’s Champions Cup semi-final defeat at La Rochelle last April.

“Jonny has been a big part of our journey in recent seasons,” said Chiefs Director of Rugby Rob Baxter. “He has been a great figure to have amongst our squad, with his international experience and the physicality he brings to games – his tackle stats speak for themselves.

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“He has experienced some injury frustration during the end of his time with us, but I’m sure Jonny will do everything he can to come back stronger as he moves on to the next step of his rugby journey.

“I’d like to thank Jonny for everything he gave to the Chiefs shirt, and I know the club and fans will join me in wishing him all the best for the future.”

Gray has been strongly linked with a move to France to play for Bordeaux, although there is bound to be speculation about a return to Glasgow, although whether there is scope for another international second-rowing the Scotstoun squad is unclear.

His older brother, Richie, committed to the club for the  “foreseeable future” (understood to be two years) last March, Scott Cummings signed on until at least the summer of 2026 in January, while youngsters Max Williamson, Alex Samuel and Ruaraidh Hart are all in need of game-time. The contract status for South African pair Sintu Manjezi and JP du Preez is unclear at the moment.

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About David Barnes 3995 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Ah the old Glasgow or Edinburgh safety net of the SRU of broken down players heading back home.

    • Fells like some poor comments on here. Jonny was fabulous for Warriors at an early age amongst a very talented Glasgow team at the time. He was the heartbeat of the pack for a long time and one of the first names on the team sheet for both Glasgow and Scotland. That earned him the big move to Exeter and part in title-winning Chiefs years. It’s been tragic that one of the best players of his generation should have picked up such a big injury then. But I really hope he’s healing and is getting back to near where he was before. If he’s anywhere close, he’ll still be a great signing for anyone.

  2. Good luck in getting some cash elsewhere at this stage of his career….but really don’t want to see him join Glasgow or Edinburgh. We really need to see development of young SQ locks. He had his time at Glasgow and for Scotland …need to move on and find better quality.

  3. A serious injury will always change perspectives, he deserves to chase some cash for a couple of seasons…. And that probably works for Glasgow as well at the moment with up and coming players needing game time, AND they are stepping up as well.

  4. Be funny if he went to Toulouse and won the cup against Leinster . He’s not cup-tied to Exeter, not named in any of their 23s this season. Go to France, couple of big final payday seasons? 🤷‍♂️

  5. Neither of the 2 scottish pro teams are in need of an experienced second row. Indeed they need to be focusing on the development of their young locks. Sorry Jonny but time for your agent to earn his fee.

  6. The knee injury sounded like a really bad one and could have been a career ender. I would guess its a difficult decision whether to go after the big money in France or to come back to Glasgow where your workload will be managed. I guess the latter option depends on whether SRU budgets can cover the extra wage and medical insurance.


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