Ex-England skipper Lawrence Dallaglio believes it is imperative that Sam Simmonds is picked by Eddie Jones after the Exeter No8 again turned in an immense Gallagher Premiership try-scoring performance, this time in the Chiefs’ 38-16 win away at Bath.
Exeter started slowly and fell 13 points into arrears before Simmonds clicked into gear, making 33 metres off 14 carries, beating six defenders, making a clean break and scoring a first-half try which was his 13th in twelve Premiership appearances this season.
The 26-year-old Simmonds was last capped by England in March 2018 and despite the recent clamour to see him back involved at Test level, he continues to be overlooked by Jones who has stuck by Billy Vunipola as his preferred choice at No8.
Co-commenting on the Exeter match at Bath for BT Sport, 2003 World Cup winner Dallaglio was effusive in his admiration of Simmonds, especially when his gallop from the back of a scrum was critical in the creation of a try for Jonny Gray.
“It was a wonderful break from the base, something I really used to appreciate,” enthused Dallaglio. “One-handed pick-up and he [Simmonds] has got pace. C’mon, people have got to see this. A No8 with pace off the base of the scrum, getting over the gain line. Pick him.”
"Every club would like to be in the ?????? @ExeterChiefs are in right now!"
Jonny Gray gets the try, but @dallaglio8 appreciates the work of Sam Simmonds yet again!
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) March 6, 2021
Despite his joy at seeing a No8 in full flow, Dallaglio opted to give the man of the match award to hooker Jack Innard, who was starting his first match of the Premiership season in place of the suspended Jack Yeandle and Luke Cowan-Dickie who has been away on England duty.
“He [Simmonds] has been outstanding as per usual, scoring tries, affecting the game, but it’s not him because he has won so many. He [Innard] has been outstanding as well. That man is our Gallagher Premiership man of the match. Innard has been superb, done everything asked of him at lineout time and he has done more than that.”
Sam Simmonds has scored 52 tries in 76 Test, Premiership and Champions Cup games compared to Billy Vunipola's 32 tries in 208…
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 13, 2021
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