Exeter Chiefs forward Thomas Waldrom reacts during a match. Photo: Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Henry Browne

LONDON - England international Thomas Waldrom said on Monday he will leave reigning English Premiership champions Exeter at the end of the season to return to his native New Zealand.

The free-scoring No.8 has scored 50 tries in 91 appearances for the club since joining from Leicester in 2014.

"The Chiefs will always be a big part of my life and I'll definitely come back and visit in the future," said the 34-year-old forward, who has played five Tests for England.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think the move would go as well as it has, but that's down to the environment here," he added. "The coaches, my teammates, the fans. It's been brilliant and I've loved every minute of it."

Waldrom said his aim before he leaves was to help Exeter successfully defend their Premiership title.

"There is still lots to do before I go," he said. "I know what this team can achieve and, fingers crossed, we can get back to where we were last season come the end of the season."

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter