Exeter’s Joe Simmonds has named his new Top 14 club
Double-winning Exeter skipper Joe Simmonds has been unveiled as a new signing by Pau ahead of the 2023/24 Top 14 season. The out-half skippered the Chiefs to their Gallagher Premiership/Heineken Champions Cup titles in October 2020, but has now signed a deal taking him to France at the age of 26.
His decision will see him cross swords next term with his older brother Sam Simmonds, the 2021 Lions Test back-rower, who has signed for Montpellier to replace the Gloucester-bound Zach Mercer. Pau wrapped up their 12th-place 2022/23 campaign with a win over Montpellier last Sunday and they have now confirmed the signing of Simmonds on a two-year deal.
A statement read: “Pau are delighted to announce the arrival of the talented English number 10 Joe Simmonds. At 26, he has a solid experience at the highest level with his long-time club: Exeter. He has worn the captain’s armband of the renowned English team from the age of 23, winning the English league in 2017 and 2020 and the Champions Cup in 2020.
“This historic double for Exeter forged him as a true leader of men. The ex-English U20 international has impressive club statistics: 178 games played for more than 1,000 points scored in seven seasons. Joe Simmonds is committed for two seasons in green and white until 2025.”
Simmonds said: “I’ve been playing in the Premiership for a while now and the Top 14 is a championship that attracts me a lot, just like the Pau club.
“The squad is interesting with young players and others experienced. I can bring leadership to the team by giving a lot on the pitch and helping young players grow. It’s a great opportunity to be able to play for Pau in the Top 14.”
Pau boss Sebastien Piqueronies added: “The arrival of Joe Simmonds promises to be of tremendous added value in our squad. Beyond the experienced and talented player, he is an authentic leader who has won titles.
“Our young players in the position will learn a lot from him, our youth needs to rely on this type of profile to grow. We can’t wait to meet him again for the pre-season and start our Bearnaise adventure.”
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