Sam Simmonds could end up starting for the British & Irish Lions and not get picked for England as Eddie Jones continues to give him the cold shoulder.
Despite fresh calls from the likes of Sir Clive Woodward and Will Greenwood following the defeat to Scotland, the number 8 still finds himself in the international wilderness.
He was pivotal in helping the Chiefs record an English and European title double in 2020, scoring a staggering 19 tries in 26 first team appearances. His efforts were also rewarded with him being named the European Player of the Year following Exeter’s Champions Cup win over Racing 92.
Simmonds, speaking to the Rugby Journal, revealed why he continues to be left out by Jones despite his stellar form in the Gallagher Premiership.
“He (Eddie) said, at the moment I don’t fit into his squad and how he sees me, and how I play for Exeter, doesn’t fit into his team.
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“And, that is quite tough to take, but at least I get to play for Exeter Chiefs. This is a great club and team.”
Jones gave Simmonds his England debut against Argentina in 21-8 win at Twickenham. Months later, Simmonds was called up for the 2018 Six Nations Championship, making the starting XV in England’s first match of the championship against Italy, where he scored two tries to help England to a 46-15 victory in Rome.
Simmonds was again expected to kick-on the following season – particularly with a World Cup looming large on the horizon – but he’s not been recalled since a serious knee injury.
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Fans pick the England XV they want to see moving forward
- 15. Max Malins (Bristol Bears)
- 14. Anthony Watson (Bath RFC)
- 11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby)
- 13. Paolo Odogwu (Wasps)
- 12. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)