Exeter boss Rob Baxter has paid tribute to Chiefs lock Tom Hayes following his retirement from rugby.
The club announced that the 33-year-old former Exeter captain has quit with immediate effect due to a back injury.
Irishman Hayes spent five years with the Aviva Premiership outfit, making more than 130 appearances.
"Tom has been a big part of our journey out of the Championship and then into the Premiership," Baxter said.
"He has been there every step of the way, both as a player and as a captain, so obviously him leaving like this is a big loss for us.
"In years to come people will look back at this period and he will be one of those guys that will go down in history as being part of the team that not only helped us get out of the Championship and into the Premiership, but then got us into the Amlin and the Heineken Cups and really helped to establish us as a club."