Exeter boss backs Simmonds for England call
Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter says he hopes forward Sam Simmonds can earn an England call-up in the next year.
The 22-year-old back-row scored on his Premiership debut in February and got two tries at Gloucester on 1 September.
“We’ve got him pushing forward as a player as we keep pushing forward as a team,” Baxter told BBC Spotlight.
“That’s going to take a little bit of management from us, but it’s also going to take a lot of hard work from him.”
Simmonds, whose younger brother Joe is also at the club, spent time on loan at Championship side Cornish Pirates before breaking into the Exeter side.
He scored the winning try as the Devon side beat Saracens in last season’s Premiership semi-final, and featured off the bench as they were crowned champions at Twickenham.
Asked if Simmonds could get an international call-up in the next 12 months, Baxter said: “I would hope so – what we’ve got to do is keep Sam on that upward curve, that’s the important thing.
“Sam’s able to play in our system and in our set-up to his strengths – I think that’s very important for us and very important for him, and that’s what we’ve got to keep developing.”