Patricia Garcia has agreed a new deal to stay at Exeter Chiefs as a player while also becoming the club’s manager of its women’s academy.
The Spanish scrum-half has signed up to a second season with the Premier 15s newcomers, having helped Chiefs achieve a sixth-place finish in their first season.
In their route to ten victories in 18 matches, Chiefs recorded wins over each top-four side – Saracens, Harlequins, Wasps and Loughborough Lightning.
Chiefs hold ties with Exeter University and Exeter College to help develop young players through academy programmes which combine rugby with education.
“With this role, I feel I can leave some of my legacy here in England,” said Garcia.
“I want to help create this project for the club and the young girls, who I know can make that move into the Chiefs jersey,” she added.
Garcia competed for Spain in sevens at the Rio Olympics five years ago, and arrived at Sandy Park last September having undertaken a 2,000-kilometre trip in a camper van to arrive in the south-west of England.
“What she has brought to the team, on and off the field, has been invaluable,” Exeter head coach Susie Appleby added.
“Her experience, her knowledge and her game understanding is just fantastic, as is the way she works with our players and those in the centre of excellence along with Dave Kimberley.
“Since she arrived, she has just embraced everything to help develop the Chiefs.
“A player of her experience is invaluable in helping us build for the future and with her new role in the academy, I think she will have a major influence in helping us become an even stronger club and team next season.”