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Exeter’s Joe Simmonds has named his new Top 14 club

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

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.

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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“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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