Exeter Chiefs Chairman Tony Rowe appears to have got his way after complaining over the weekend about England being ‘greedy’ when it came to selecting players for international Test windows.
Just three Chiefs have been selected in Eddie Jones’ 36-man Autumn international squad: Henry Slade, Jonny Hill and Harry Williams. As rumoured hours beforehand, there was no place for either Sam or Joe Simmonds. The latter led Exeter to a European and domestic double as captain, while the former was named European Player of the Year.
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) October 26, 2020
While the squad selection was likely already made, Rowe’s comments won’t have helped his players’ cause: “All this stuff coming down about more international games – I am totally against that.
“We employ the players, they are our players. Being forced to release them for so many international games is not good. We don’t get compensated enough.
“The reality is that we bred these guys for ourselves, we didn’t breed them for England.
“England can get too greedy. They are very quick to run the other way when we want money. At the moment we are desperate for money in the Premiership to stay alive.”
The decision has evoked memories of some of Jones’ more left-field omissions over the years, most notably Saracens fullback Alex Goode, who was snubbed despite also winning European Player of the Year and the avoidance of Danny Cipriani despite his Premiership form.
“Not sure what more the Simmonds brothers at Exeter Chiefs can or have to do to get picked for
England. #Eddieareyouok,” wrote former England flyhalf and RugbyPass columnist Andy Goode, summing up the feelings of many England supporters.
— Andy Goode (@AndyGoode10) October 26, 2020
There is also no room for Harlequins Alex Dombrandt, although Quins’ mediocre form may have cost the young back row a spot.
Backs: J Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), O Farrell (Saracens), G Furbank (Northampton Saints), W Heinz (Gloucester Rugby), J Joseph (Bath Rugby), O Lawrence (Worcester Warriors), M Malins (Bristol Bears), J Marchant (Harlequins), J May (Gloucester Rugby), D Robson (Wasps), H Slade (Exeter Chiefs), O Thorley (Gloucester Rugby), J Umaga (Wasps), A Watson (Bath Rugby), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers).
Forwards: T Curry (Sale Sharks), T Dunn (Bath Rugby), B Earl (Bristol Bears), C Ewels (Bath Rugby), E Genge (Leicester Tigers), J George (Saracens), J Hill (Exeter Chiefs), T Hill (Worcester Warriors), M Itoje (Saracens), J Launchbury (Wasps), L Ludlam (Northampton Saints), B Obano (Bath Rugby), D Ribbans (Northampton Saints), J Singleton (Gloucester Rugby), K Sinckler (Bristol Bears), W Stuart (Bath Rugby), S Underhill (Bath Rugby), B Vunipola (Saracens), M Vunipola (Saracens), H Williams (Exeter Chiefs), J Willis (Wasps).
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