Snubbed Joe Simmond's new club set to be confirmed this week
There was maybe a tinge of sadness as Exeter Chiefs lavished praise on flyhalf Joe Simmonds, whose new club in set to be confirmed later this week.
Simmonds is widely understood to be signing for Top 14 side Pau. He will join teammates Jack Nowell, Harry Williams, Luke Cowan-Dickie and of course, brother Sam, in heading to France next season.
Simmonds was a late injury call-up on Sunday to the Exeter side that won the Premiership Cup after a pulsating game against London Irish in Brentford.
“We talked on Friday about what he wanted to bring to the game,” Exeter skills coach Ricky Pellow told Devon Live. “I just wanted him to come out and play his game and show the Joe Simmonds that we have known and loved at the club and I thought he did that.
“Joe is a European Cup winner and today he was celebrating like he had won the European Cup again and that shows what this meant to all the players and staff.”
Maybe key in his decision to leave English rugby behind is that the fact that Simmonds had been unable to break into England contention despite outstanding form for Chiefs over the course of the nearly eight years in Devon.
Despite his silverware-winning performances over the years for Exeter, he never managed a single cap under Eddie Jones. It has been said that the 26-year-old’s size, at 6ft and 88kg, might be a factor in this decision, as some perceived him to be too small for a Test flyhalf, but the selection of Marcus Smith from 2021 onwards appears to put pay to that argument.
Simmonds made his full debut for Chiefs in March of 2018 against Saracens, where he was named man of the match. The following week, he kicked the winning penalty to secure Exeter’s place in the Anglo-Welsh Cup final, where he kicked 13 points as they won the cup against Bath Rugby. Simmonds’ leadership skills were recognized when he was appointed captain for the European Rugby Champions Cup game against Glasgow Warriors in January 2020.
In the delayed final of the 2020 Champions Cup, Simmonds led Exeter Chiefs on the pitch, becoming the youngest player to captain a side to victory in the final of the European Cup. He also won ‘Star of the Match’ for his impressive performance and kicked 5 successful kicks out of 5 attempts. He was the top points scorer in the 2019–20 European Rugby Champions Cup.
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What a great read. Players mature at different stages and words that may inspire some are far too cutting for others. Good coaches are so important to the career of young players. The ability to get into a player's head is a gift. But in the wrong hands this can be a disaster. There is so much emotional stuff going on with young players that it takes a really good coach to bring the best from them and inspire them to be the best they can be playing rugby and importantly the best person they can be as a person.Go to comments
Interesting read Nick, thanks. Is it a reality check for incomings and outgoings for the English clubs over money? a market correction? This is always a strange thing when it comes to what is still fundamentally recreation, a leisure pursuit. You could have the two divisions but the 2nd division will lose interest for the top flight of players. Maybe a random draw to create two pools that would lead to a play-off system? Have not thought it through but throwing it out there.Go to comments