If ever the Simmonds brothers wanted to send a message to England head coach Eddie Jones, then this was the weekend.


And that’s more or less exactly what Sam and Joe Simmonds did.

The brothers were two of the major exclusions from Jones’ Autumn Nations Squad, a decision that left many pundits scratching their heads. Exeter Chiefs’ most prolific sibling pairing have been playing out of their boots and were lynchpins in Exeter’s double-winning exploits in the season just past.

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Tom Curry on the ‘war on the floor’ with Ireland:

Last night the pair put on a remarkable performance in Exeter Chief’s opening game of the season away to Harlequins at The Stoop – Sam’s explosive, all-court game, in particular, catching the eye. A 21st minute 50-metre solo effort in which the No.8 gassed the covering defence before sliding over the line was the highlight.

He was of course put into space by brother Joe.

British and Irish Lions centre Jamie Roberts posed the possibility that Sam could star for the Lions without playing for England in the preceding Test season. ‘Sam Simmonds could well end up starting for the Lions and not get picked for England!’


Popular pundit and former England prop David Flatman Tweeted: “Sam Simmonds is absolute levels. Reckon he’d carve up for England.”

Even Chiefs teammate Jack Nowell, who would have been on England duty if it were not for injury, got in on the act:


Commentator Nick Mullins tweeted: “If you’re playing No8 for England this weekend, or covering on the bench, you’re a bloody good player to be more effective than Sam Simmonds.”

Regular RugbyPass contributor Alex Shaw pointed to the fickle nature of England fans and selection, implying they couldn’t have it all their own way.
“England fans: it’s a travesty Jack Willis isn’t included.

“Also England fans: it’s a travesty Sam Simmonds isn’t included.

“Also England fans: Ben Earl does things no other back row can do.

“Also England fans: Curry and Underhill is the best flank pairing in world rugby.”

Will Greenwood wrote: “Brilliant from Sam Simmonds tonight. Picked the gap, stayed in control of his speed, saw the space, didn’t panic, trusted his pace, ran an arc like a 200m runner. Absolute class.
Exeter Chiefs’ Premiership is back with a bang.”

Robert Kitson chimed in: “Let’s just say Sam Simmonds looks an international-class player to me…”

RugbyPass columnist Andy Goode could resist a dig at Jones in the form of a GIF:

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