Wilhelm van der Sluys: Exeter Chiefs lock leaves for Lions in native South Africa

Wilhelm van der Sluys played twice in the Champions Cup and twice in the Premiership this season

Exeter second-row Wilhelm van der Sluys has left the club to join Johannesburg-based Super Rugby side the Lions.

The 27-year-old South African joined Exeter in the summer of 2017 and made 12 appearances, including the Anglo-Welsh Cup final win over Bath in 2018.

Van der Sluys found game-time limited because of the emergence of players like Jonny Hill and Sam Skinner.

“It’s a credit to him that he’s been part of a process that has seen the club thrive,” said boss Rob Baxter.

“In all the challenges he’s had, he’s remained a fantastic squad member, been very popular and when he’s been called upon to come in he’s done very well and worked very hard and had decent games.”

Baxter told BBC Sport: “He’s been so good for us and been such a good character and a good guy around the place it would have been unfair for us to hold him here and not allow him that opportunity, so I’d like to think it’s worked out good for both of us.”

Van der Sluys is the second non-English qualified player to leave the club this season, with Italy centre Michele Campagnaro moving to Wasps in November after also finding it hard to break into the side.

“It’s been an amazing experience, one which is difficult to put into just a few words,” the 6ft 5ins forward told the Exeter website.

“From the day I arrived to the day I said goodbye, it’s been a wonderful experience for me and I am so grateful to have been part of what is a very special club.

“Over the years I have been fortunate to play rugby at a few clubs, but the camaraderie that exists here at the Chiefs, it’s on another level. You can see it both on and off the field, the guys here are not only team-mates, but great friends.”


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.