BREAKING: Joe Simmonds confirms move away from Exeter Chiefs - Ruck

BREAKING: Joe Simmonds confirms move away from Exeter Chiefs

Joe Simmonds, the accomplished fly-half who led Exeter Chiefs to victory in the 2020 European Champions Cup and Premiership, has secured a two-year contract with French Top 14 side Pau.

Throughout his career, the 26-year-old has remained loyal to Exeter, but the new lower salary cap of £5 million prompted several long-standing players to seek new opportunities.

Simmonds’ brother, Sam Simmonds, will be joining Montpellier, while Jack Nowell is set to move to La Rochelle.

Having amassed over 1,000 points in 178 games for Exeter, Simmonds’ remarkable contributions to the club’s domestic and European successes earned him an MBE in December 2020.

Expressing his enthusiasm for the new chapter in his career, Simmonds stated, “I’ve been playing in the Premiership for a while now, and the Top 14 is a championship that greatly appeals to me, just like the Pau club.

I believe I can bring leadership to the team by giving my all on the field and aiding the development of young players. It’s an incredible opportunity to compete in the Top 14.”


5 rugby lads who are out and proud – including Exeter Chiefs forward

In honour of Pride month, RUCK wanted to celebrate five out and proud rugby stars. Their focus? How we can collectively align to take action that drives change on and off the pitch.

1. Nigel Owens

All fans, players, and anyone who knows anything about rugby will know the name, Nigel Owens. Besides having the record for most test matches refereed, Owens has earned a reputation as one of the top rugby referees around the world.

The Welshman is also a TV personality and a devoted activist for the LGBT cause, winning “Gay Sports Personality of the Decade” at the Stonewall awards ceremony in London back in 2015.

“It’s such a big taboo to be gay in my line of work, I had to think very hard about it because I didn’t want to jeopardise my career,” he confessed.

“Coming out was very difficult and I tried to live with who I really was for years. I knew I was ‘different’ from my late teens, but I was just living a lie.”

Refereeing in as sport like rugby also hindered his decision.

“When I became a referee, it became clear that there was nobody in the sport who was gay.

“The rugby world is very heterosexual and masculine, and this made things difficult.

“Although that’s not to say that the sport is openly homophobic. It was just never an environment where I felt like I could be myself.”


He wrote in his column: “There’s not too much I can say at the moment about the process itself, but we are both incredibly excited. It’s something that we’ve spoken about for a few years now and it’s taken a while to get here, but now that it’s happening we can’t wait, although I must admit it’s also a little nerve-wracking.

“As any parent will tell you, there’s no bigger commitment than raising a child, so that was obviously the main reason why I decided against the South Africa job in the end. I couldn’t, nor would I want to, go away for the next six months with this happening.”