Simmonds keen to impress at Chiefs

Mon, 30 Jan 2017 13:10
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NEWS: Joe Simmonds says he will look to make the most of the opportunities afforded to him after he put in another assured performance for the Exeter Chiefs during their weekend win.

The 20-year-old was one of 10 academy players who featured in a Chiefs squad that dismantled Wasps 52-5 in the Anglo-Welsh Cup at Sandy Park.

The emphatic victory lifted the Chiefs back to the top of Pool Two on points difference and has put them back in the driving seat for qualification into the last four of the competition.

Starting at flyhalf, Simmonds converted six of the home side's eight tries, which included one for older brother Sam, as well as a hat-trick for Michele Campagnaro and other scores for Mitch Lees, Stuart Townsend, Shaun Malton and Lachie Turner.

It put the seal on an impressive display for Ricky Pellow's side, who will complete their pool stage fixtures this Sunday with a short trek to rivals Bristol.

Simmonds is again expected to feature in that contest, further highlighting the trust the Exeter coaching staff have put in the young back to control proceedings in the key playmaker role.

As well as featuring in all three Anglo-Welsh Cup fixtures, the Torquay-born back has also honed his skills in the  Premiership and European Champions Cup this season.

Now the talented Simmonds is aiming to make the most of any further opportunities he gets to shine on the big stage.

"When the game comes up, you have got to take your chance," he said. "The young lads get an opportunity here and you have just got to take it. At the moment I am enjoying my rugby and just of focusing on myself week in, week out, and on the team as well.

"To get the opportunity to play in a big competition like this – especially with some senior lads – is a great opportunity for us to put our mark on it. It is good for the lads involved and hopefully we can carry on at Bristol."

The Chiefs will head into Sunday's clash knowing that progression is firmly in their hands following their handsome victory in front of 10 500 fans at Sandy Park at the weekend.

"To go away to Bristol will be a hard task," added Simmonds. "We know they are going to have a good team but, just like we did against Wasps, we just have to focus on ourselves and hopefully get the win from there," he said. "It is a massive game to look forward to.

"Like any other team in the Premiership they have outstanding players and depth as well. We will have a look at the footage but it is a big week to focus on ourselves,"

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