Sweet departure for Chiefs star
- Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK
I’d like to dedicate this column to my old mate Tomas Francis, who has announced he is leaving the Exeter Chiefs to join Ospreys.
Franny has opted to move to the Pro 14 club in a bid to continue his international career.
Current rules adopted by the Welsh Rugby Union mean he would either have to forego playing Test rugby in the future – as he has failed to reach the 60-cap limit – or decide to stay with Exeter.
I have no doubt it was a tough choice but at 28, he’s still got some years in front of him and I don’t blame him opting for country over club.
Tight head props are like gold dust at an international level, so he will have been courted by both the Ospreys management and the Welsh selectors.
He will adjust quickly and the transition should be relatively straightforward for him.
Ospreys have got themselves a cracking player and he has chosen wisely in moving there as they look to be building for the future.
However, it is a loss for the Chiefs. Franny enjoyed vying for the number one spot with Harry Williams and that competition meant both players rapidly improved their game.
It’s also a massive blow for the Cookie Club (the Chiefs equivalent of the Great British Bake Off) which some players are members of.
His brownies were the stuff of legend and he was, shall we say, one of the more ‘active’ members of the group.
Franny also enjoyed a good old moan. Apart from Damian Welch, he was probably the closest the Chiefs had to Victor Meldrew.
It wasn’t anything in particular that got his goat. It just depended on the day of the week and which way the wind was blowing.
However, I have to end this tribute on a serious note.
If I were the manager of his local Tesco store in Exeter, I would be very concerned about my profits when he leaves.
That’s because it wasn’t unusual for him to buy a kilo of pick and mix and get through it in next to no time. I mean within days.
If you hear about a short supply of sweet treats in the Swansea area in the next few months, you’ll know why!