Waldrom confirms he will head home

Getty Images

    05 Feb 2018     Getty Images

While originally joining Leicester after leaving New Zealand in 2010, where he played 78 games, he moved to Exeter Chiefs in 2014 where he has played 92 games for them to date, while helping the side to the Premiership title last year.

He had earlier won a Premiership with Leicester in 2013, a year after he had made his Test debut for England.

Waldrom said on the website that the club would always be a big part of his life.

"From the first meeting I had with [coach] Rob [Baxter], talking to him and seeing where the club wanted to go, I knew I made the right decision. Coming down and seeing first hand everything that was here and what the club did, I knew straight away it was the right fit for me and my family.

"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. The coaches, my team-mates, the fans, its been brilliant and I've loved every minute of it," he said.

The club had shown a lot of faith in him and he felt he had paid that faith back.

"It's the right time for me to go. It's been a hard decision to come to, but deep down I know it's the right decision. My wife has followed me around England for a good eight years now, when it was only supposed to be two at the start," he said.

While had made the announcement there was still work to be done with the club in defending the club's Premiership title. They head the table by five points from Saracens with Wasps six points behind in third.

"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," he said.

"A lot of what we have done is down to the players themselves. But at the same time Rob and the other coaches do put a lot of responsibility on us as players as well. We do lots of work off the pitch, but when you get things right on the pitch, that's when they are the first to reward you," he said.

The club's unity had been a key factor and would be important for the side continuing to grow.

Waldrom said he wasn't retiring. He had playing options back in New Zealand that he would consider while settling back into familiar surroundings with friends and family.