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Forgotten English standoff Joe Simmonds is flying it in the Top 14

By Ian Cameron
Pau's English fly-half Joe Simmonds kicks the ball during the French Top14 rugby union match between Section Paloise Bearn Pyrenees (Pau) and Stade Toulousain (Toulouse) at Stade de Hameau in Pau, south-western France on November 5, 2023. (Photo by GAIZKA IROZ / AFP) (Photo by GAIZKA IROZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Forgotten English flyhalf Joe Simmonds has emerged as the top scorer in the Top 14, showcasing his prowess with new club Pau in the French top flight.

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The 26-year-old, who had fallen off England’s selection radar prior to making the jump across the channel, has taken the French rugby league by storm, leading the points table with an impressive tally of 77.

Simmonds’ points tally includes 17 penalties and 13 conversions, solidifying his position at the summit of the league’s scoring charts. Pau, currently sitting in second place on the table, are on 22 points, as are league leaders Stade Francais; both teams having played six games each in the highly competitive Top 14.

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Stormers head coach John Dobson on his long-term injury list

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Stormers head coach John Dobson on his long-term injury list

Kicks

35
Total Kicks
27
1:3.6
Kick To Pass Ratio
1:4.9

Simmonds’ rise through the points-scoring ranks will come as no surprise to Exeter Chiefs fans, even if he was consistently overlooked by England. The brother of British & Irish Lion Sam Simmonds, who spent his formative years at Exeter, played a pivotal role in the Chiefs’ success in the English Premiership and in the Champions Cup before making the move to Pau, a decision that looks like a wise one based on the first six games of the 26 game regular season.

On the heels of Simmonds in the points-scoring race is another forgotten talent, former Ireland flyhalf Paddy Jackson. Having left London Irish in the aftermath of their collapse last season, Jackson now dons the colours of Lyon and has amassed an impressive 74 points. The 31-year-old Irishman has brought a wealth of experience to his new club, adding a dynamic edge to Lyon’s attack. The Ulsterman – who was capped 25 times by Ireland – hasn’t played for an Irish province since his IRFU contract was terminated in 2018 following a highly publicised court case in Northern Ireland.

Simmonds isn’t the only English talent on the table. Former Leicester Tigers standoff Zack Henry also features among the league’s top scorers. The Stade Francais playmaker currently sits in sixth on the points-scoring chart with 51 points to his name. He’s scored 13 penalties and six conversions so far this season for the early season league leaders.

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1 Comment
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Brian 214 days ago

Not forgetting Willis at Toulouse.

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