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Joe Simmonds to become the latest big name to quit Exeter - report

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Bob Bradford/CameraSport via Getty Images)

Double-winning skipper Joe Simmonds is poised to become the latest big name to exit Exeter at the end of the current season. Media reports in France claim that the out-half has struck a deal to join Pau next season as a replacement for the Stade Francais-bound Zack Henry. The suggested move would see Simmonds come up against his older brother Sam, the Exeter back-rower whose deal to switch to Montpellier was sealed last September.

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French website rugbyrama.fr reported: “Pau have struck a blow on the transfer market. According to our information, the Bearn club have obtained the agreement of English No10 Joe Simmonds for next season.

“The 26-year-old, who has been playing for Exeter since his professional debut in 2016, is recognised as one of the best out-halves in the English Premiership. Even if he has never been selected by England, Simmonds has solid experience and a good track record.

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“He has 166 games with Exeter, whom he became captain of in 2020 when he was only 23 years old. Suffice to say, Joe Simmonds will be a huge added value for Pau.

“He has the advantage of still being young to integrate perfectly into the Bearn club project led by Sebastien Piqueronies while bringing his experience (32 Champions Cup matches) and his qualities as a leader. He is currently the fourth-best scorer in the English league with 93 points, just behind Owen Farrell (98 points).”

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Having endured issues last term with form and selection, Simmonds has been a starter in 13 of his 16 Exeter appearances this season and the revelation that he has apparently been snapped up by Pau emerged in the same week that the English club confirmed the loss of long-serving back-rower Dave Ewers to Ulster.

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Luke Cowan-Dickie is another who is definitely leaving Exeter, as he has signed for Montpellier, while the expectation is that Jack Nowell will also exit Sandy Park.

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