BREAKING: Joe Simmonds the latest player to depart Exeter Chiefs - Ruck

BREAKING: Joe Simmonds the latest player to depart Exeter Chiefs

England fly-half Joe Simmonds has committed to French side Pau for next season, which is a major signing for the Top 14 club.

According to Midi Olympique, he comes to replace Zack Henry, leaving for the Stade Français.

Former England and Wasps scrum-half Dan Robson will also sign contract extension with Pau.

The young fly-half emerged onto the big stage during the 2016/17 season, making his Exeter Chiefs debut in an Anglo-Welsh Cup tie at Harlequins.

Despite his early introduction that evening following an injury to fellow playmaker Will Hooley, Simmonds – the younger of the two brothers at Sandy Park – quickly settled into his role with effortless ease.

Having started the season on dual-registered terms at National League One club Plymouth Albion, he would end the year having helped the Chiefs to reach not only the Anglo-Welsh Cup Final, but also the Aviva Premiership Final.

Despite his tender years, his cool decision-making and nerveless goal-kicking saw him thrust firmly into the Chiefs spotlight during the course of the season, featuring prominently in the Premiership and Champions Cup when regular custodian Gareth Steenson picked up a hamstring injury.

Over time, however, his on-field influence started to grow and with Steenson on hand to offer a helping hand, it wasn’t long before he over took the Irishman as the club’s lead playmaker.

Indeed, such was his growing influence within the side that in January 2020, Director of Rugby Rob Baxter made Simmonds captain for the Champions Cup trip to Glasgow Warriors. By the end of the disrupted season, he would not only lead the Chiefs into two major finals against Racing 92 and Wasps, but he would lift both cups alongside club captain Jack Yeandle.

That double triumph was rewarded on an even higher scale when Joe Simmonds was given an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

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Exeter Chiefs want Callum Chick:

Rob Baxter is keen to sign England number 8 Callum Chick from Newcastle Falcons to replace departing back-rower Sam Simmonds.


Brodie Retallick departs New Zealand:

Star All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick will bow out of test rugby after this year’s World Cup, but has ditched the idea of hanging up the boots completely.

Instead, Stuff has reported that the 31-year-old will re-join Japan club Kobelco Kobe Steelers, where he spent his two-season sabbatical in 2020-21.


Exeter confirm Dave Ewers departure:

Dave Ewers, a long-serving forward for the Exeter Chiefs, has announced he will be leaving the Gallagher Premiership club at the end of the current season to join Ulster Rugby of the United Rugby Championship.

Ewers has played 226 games and scored 38 tries for the Chiefs, helping them win the LV= Cup in 2014, two Premiership Rugby titles, and a Heineken Champions Cup crown.

He is the third confirmed departure at the end of the season, following Luke Cowan-Dickie and Sam Simmonds, who will be joining French Top 14 outfit Montpellier.


Harlequins sign Bristol Bears playmaker:

Scrum-half Will Porter has joined Harlequins for the 2023/24 season. 

He comes from Bristol Bears and will join Quins in the summer, adding depth at number nine alongside Danny Care who recently extended his contract with the team.

Porter is a former player of the Wasps academy, and has previously represented England at the U17, U18, and U19 levels.