Sam Simmonds (rugby union)
|Birth name||Samuel David Simmonds|
|Date of birth||10 November 1994|
|Place of birth||Torquay, Devon|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||103 kg (16 st 3 lb; 227 lb)|
|School||Ivybridge Community College|
|Notable relative(s)||Joe Simmonds (brother)|
|Rugby union career|
Samuel David Simmonds (born 10 November 1994) is an English rugby union player for Premiership Rugby side Exeter Chiefs. His position of choice is back row forward. Sam grew up in Teignmouth, Devon and played for Teignmouth RFC for most of his youth. After graduating through their academy, Simmonds made his Exeter Chiefs debut in November 2012.
Simmonds was born in Torquay, and grew up in Teignmouth, Devon, where his father and uncle are both in the fishing industry. As a child, he wanted to be a footballer, but after earning selection to play rugby for Devon aged 14, he switched his focus to it.
Simmonds went through the Exeter Chiefs Academy, making his debut for the senior side in an Anglo-Welsh Cup game against London Welsh in November 2012. In February 2017, Simmonds played his first Premiership match for Exeter Chiefs against Wasps, earning the Man of the Match award.
In the Championship semi-final against Saracens, he came on as a replacement at No.8. Chiefs were down three points towards the end of the game, when he scored the winning try from a driving maul. Then he was a replacement as Exeter Chiefs defeated Wasps to be crowned champions of the 2016–17 English Premiership.
At the end of the 2019–20 season – having helped Exeter Chiefs win the Premiership and European Cup double – Sam Simmonds was named European Player of the Year. He became the seventh Englishman to receive the 'Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy’, following in the footsteps of Johnny Wilkinson (2013), Steffon Armitage (2014), Nick Abendanon (2015), Maro Itoje (2016), Owen Farrell (2018) and Alex Goode (2019). To many people, it was a surprise when head coach Eddie Jones did not select him in the England squad for the 2020 Autumn series.
On 20 November 2020, Chiefs opened the new Premiership season away at Harlequins, and won 33–3, with Simmonds scoring 3 tries – including an outstanding long-range effort – and taking the ‘man-of-the-match’ award. In doing so, he took his try tally in the Premiership to 34 in 49 games – and 47 in 70 games for Chiefs overall. By the end of 2020, Simmonds had scored 8 tries in the 4 Premiership games Chiefs had played, and 1 in the Champions Cup game against Glasgow.
Simmonds received his first call up to the England national rugby union team for the 2017 Autumn Internationals. On 11 November 2017 Simmonds made his England debut against Argentina in 21–8 win at Twickenham.
With Billy Vunipola and Nathan Hughes, Eddie Jones' first and second choice at No.8, unavailable through injury, Simmonds was called up to the England squad for the 2018 Six Nations Championship. He made the starting XV in England's first match of the championship against Italy, and scored two tries to help England to a 46–15 victory in Rome.
- As of 7 July 2019
|1||Italy||Rome, Italy||Stadio Olimpico||2018 Six Nations||4 February 2018||Win||46 – 15|
- "Exeter Chiefs Player List". www.exeterchiefs.co.uk.
- "Exeter Chiefs Player List".
- "Sam Simmonds". ESPN. Retrieved 12 November 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "The fairytale continues for Sam Simmonds". 4 February 2018.
- "Sam Simmonds is making waves with the Exeter Chiefs". 16 December 2017.
- "Joe Simmonds". www.exeterchiefs.co.uk.
- "Premiership final: Wasps 20–23 Exeter Chiefs (aet)". BBC. 27 May 2017. Retrieved 24 September 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Autumn internationals: James Haskell left out of England squad". BBC Sport. 26 October 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "England Defeat Italy in NatWest 6 Nations Opener". 4 February 2018.
- "Sam Simmonds sets pulse racing but England miss chance to be bolder". The Guardian. 4 February 2018.
- "British and Irish Lions 2021: Sam Simmonds in 37-man squad but Billy Vunipola misses out". BBC Sport. 6 May 2021. Retrieved 6 May 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Sam Simmonds". 7 July 2019.