Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
New Zealand New Zealand
France France

The two word text message Eddie Jones sent Sam Simmonds after his Lions call-up

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Communications between newly minted British and Irish Lions tourist Sam Simmonds and England head coach Eddie Jones are happening, even if they are short and sweet.

ADVERTISEMENT

Simmonds was called into Warren Gatland’s 37-man Lions squad despite not featuring for England in over two years. His omission from England duty has been the talk of the sport for the past year, especially given the flying form the Exeter Chiefs No.8 has been showcasing in the Gallagher Premiership and in Europe.

Simmonds in an interview in the Daily Mail has shed more light on his England situation, revealing Jones had messaged him after he got the Lions call earlier this month.

Video Spacer

Spirit of Rugby | Episode 2 | RugbyPass

Video Spacer

Spirit of Rugby | Episode 2 | RugbyPass

“He sent me a text to say, ‘Well done’. Over the past few months, there has been more chat with the England set-up and that gives you some confidence,” said the European Player of the Year in 2020. “I was always hopeful that if I wasn’t selected by the Lions then I’d be involved on the England summer tour.

“I was gutted not to be involved in the Six Nations but the positive is that my form has been good for Exeter and I’ve been playing in a winning team, which gave me the best possible opportunity to be picked for the Lions.

“It’ll be great to right some of the wrongs of when I played international rugby in the past. I’m more mature and more physical now. I know how to train.”

Whether Simmonds would have been included in England’s summer series if he had not got the Lions call remains to be seen, but the back row very much wants to get back involved.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I still want to play for England and be in contention for selection in the autumn. I’ve not been getting selected for England and I’ve made peace with that, but I still want to be a part of a successful England team.”

Simmonds had received assurances from Warren Gatland that he would be considered for British and Irish Lions selection despite being frozen out by England and sure enough, he got the nod. Speaking earlier this year, Simmonds said: “…we had a brief chat because I wasn’t playing in the Six Nations. He [Gatland] told me not to worry about that, to keep playing well for my club,” Simmonds said. “This was actually before the tour to South Africa was confirmed. He said, ‘If you keep doing what you’re doing, then we’ll see what happens’.

“Even though I haven’t been playing international rugby I know I’m getting the same chances as the other boys are. I didn’t really think much about the Lions until speaking to Warren Gatland and seeing him watch our games.

“End of last season, I didn’t even think ‘oh, next season is the Lions tour’ because I didn’t feel close enough to it. I wasn’t playing at the highest level, so why would you consider someone playing at club rugby?”

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

USER NOTICE:

As part of a series of planned improvements, we will need you to reset your RugbyPass password from 24/07/24 to continue commenting on articles.

You don’t need to change anything until that time.

Thank you,

Comments

0 Comments
Be the first to comment...

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

T
Tim 15 hours ago
'It’s a mental thing': Joe Schmidt on the Wallabies' flyhalf issues

Ben Donaldson had not played Super Rugby for the past eight weeks. Surely, he was playing Shute Shield for Randwick in that time to keep up the fitness…?? Eight weeks is a long break to be thrust in against a hungry skillful side like Georgia who deserve to be in the “7 Nations”. (Italy, Wales & Scotland v Georgia, can’t wait to see those ones). In the second test against Wales, Donaldson was put on for nine minutes. That was a mistake from the coaching team, who already knew he was starting the following week against Georgia. They should have put him on for 20-25 minutes, with Nick Whyte at halfback, and their combination from the Force would have flowed. Donaldsons first 20 minutes against Georgia was a shocker. However, well done to Joe Schmidt for keeping him out there because Donaldsons game improved as the rust came off, he was hammered a few times and handled it and he came into his groove. He made mistakes which they will all learn from. Ben Donaldson is a naturally talented rugby player who the Wallabies have to stick with at no.10. “Over the black Dot-aldson” is a good nick name for him with his awesome goal kicking style. It looks as though, off the boot, it’s going to hit the post. Then it just curves in beautifully every time, once he is in the groove. Donaldsons play this season for the Force, with Kurtley and co., was amazing to watch. Kurtley making one of the best comebacks in history. Donaldson has to be played consistently with Flash Gordon, Big LEN, McReight, Tupou, Kellaway. Oh, that’s right, there is Bell, Kerevi, Petaia (This list does go on a bit). Donaldson will be slotting these weapons into gaps, and into the clear, before we know it… One more thing which I will just assume is happening, just include JOC in the Wallabies squad. He is a rugby genius. His skills, wisdom and experience would be infectious around the Wallabies relatively inexperienced backline. JOC has mastered the art of all the positions long ago. JOC is so skilled and match fit atm taking THE REDS, at no.10, within a point of beating Wales. He can come off the bench and slot into the backline for the Wallabies at 10, 12, 13 or 15 at any stage of a test match. Ummm yeah, not bad… I am assuming that BIG JOE, Laurie “Gandalf” Fischer, Mike “The scrum Doctor” Cron and the team obviously already know all this. I am just a passionate rugby union supporter, and I am very happy that these guys are in charge of the coaching duties, what a coaching team the Wallabies have been blessed with. (Good luck with selecting the match day 23 when Will Skelton, who was playing amazing rugby for La Rochelle, and the boys return from Europe/Japan, Samu Kerevi…???) Now just imagine having Bernie Larkham, Toutai Kefu, Nathan Grey and John “Nobody” Eales as your coaching apprentices… GO AUSTRALIAN RUGBY… Doing a great job Phil Waugh, Joe Roff, Dan Herbert and the team. An amazing three years ahead. GO THE WALLABIES… GO THE WALLAROOS… GO THE 7’s in Paris…

2 Go to comments
TRENDING
TRENDING Eddie Jones' Japan humbled by Italy in Sapporo Eddie Jones' Japan humbled by Italy in Sapporo
Search