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Simmonds defends decision to move to Montpellier

Simmonds defends decision to move to Montpellier

Simmonds defends decision to move to Montpellier

Sam Simmonds says he has no regrets over his move to Montpellier, even though it will rule him out of England contention.

The 28-year-old will join the Top14 champions after next year’s World Cup, ending a 10-year stay with boyhood club Exeter Chiefs.

Speaking ahead of England’s final Autumn Nations Series fixture with South Africa, Simmonds spoke about the reasons behind his decision.

“I knew that in deciding to play abroad, I wouldn’t be able to be selected for England, but for me I’m focused on the here and now,” he said.

“I feel like I can still have such an effect in an England shirt, such an effect in an Exeter Chiefs shirt for the next 12 months now, and I think I’m at peace with that decision.”

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Simmonds played 66 minutes of England’s stunning 25-all draw against New Zealand on Saturday, departing before Will Stuart kickstarted a late comeback.

This season, the versatile back row has appeared as much for Exeter Chiefs as he has for his country, having missed the start of the season following a hip injury that required surgery.

That he was selected despite his lack of game time shows just how much Eddie Jones rates the former Gallagher Premiership Player of the Year.

Though that has not always been the case, with Simmonds not selected between June 2018 and November 2021.

Power Rankings after Round 3 of the Autumn Nations Series

And despite that prolonged absence, Simmonds is not minded to try and make up for lost time, instead feeling that the opportunity to move to France was too good to turn down.

“There’s plenty of players that are going to be coming up behind me and I felt that it was the right time to make a decision for after the World Cup to pursue a new life in France, and for my family and for me to experience that because I have loved my time at Exeter, but I haven’t experienced anything outside of Devon,” he added.

“I feel it was the right decision at the right time and we’ll see how it goes.”

“Who’s to say in a year’s time that a contract would even be there for me in England, in France or anywhere?”

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