Sam Simmonds has revealed Warren Gatland gave him assurances in private chat ahead of the Lions squad announcement.
The Exeter Chiefs number 8 has not played for England since his seventh cap back in 2018, but has been in superb form for his club and leads the Premiership scoring charts.
“Earlier in the year we had a brief chat because I wasn’t playing in the Six Nations,” revealed Simmonds.
“Warren told me not to worry about that, to keep playing well for my club.
“He said if you keep doing what you’re doing, then we’ll see what happens. It was quite nice to have that reassurance. If nothing comes of it, at least I know I’ve performed well.
“Even though I haven’t been playing international rugby I know I’m getting the same chances as the other boys are.”
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5 potential Lions bolters who received a letter from Warren Gatland
Here are five players who are thought to be among the players who received a letter from Gatland.
#5. Danny Care
- Position: Scrum-half
- Age: 34
Care is thought to be in the mix for Gatland’s final squad. The 34-year-old has not featured for England since the 2018 autumn Test win against Japan but his club form has put him in contention for a first Lions tour. That Ben Youngs has ruled himself out of contention only aids Care’s cause in a position considered to be among the most open.
Did you know? Care is the only England rugby player to win medals at the Commonwealth Youth Games and the senior Commonwealth Games.