?>
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Joe Simmonds opens up about life in France and the pressure surrounding international selection

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Wednesday Jan 3, 2024

In an exclusive interview with RugbyPass, Joe Simmonds has opened up about his time in France and his struggles surrounding the pressure of international selection.

ADVERTISEMENT

The 27-year-old will forever be revered as a club legend over at Sandy Park after becoming the youngest-ever European Cup-winning captain during Exeter Chiefs double winning season of 2019/20. Winning both the English Premiership and Champions Cup in one season concluded arguably the greatest-ever club rise in English history after the Devon-based side joined the Premiership just over a decade prior.

The ability to remain at the very top is one that very few clubs or players can master, and unfortunately for both Exeter Chiefs and Joe Simmonds, the journey down grew steadily more rocky. Whilst both player and club continued to grind out results, their performances started to crumble. Before long, Exeter were sinking into a mid-table side, whilst Joe Simmonds was starting to become second fiddle to Harvey Skinner.

“Winning those trophies, they were brilliant, I loved every part of it.” Simmonds told RugbyPass, about his time at Exeter. “I liked captaining the side, but what comes with it is obviously a lot of media stuff, people saying ‘you should be in’ [The England squad], sometimes you’re expecting you might get a call.

“I had so much going on in my head. For any youngster growing up you want to play for England, and my goal was to play for England, but as time went on I probably dwelled on it too much when not getting picked. I just worried about things and put too much pressure on myself.”

Cries for Simmonds’ inclusion in the England squad were shortly left by the wayside, instead replaced by groans from fans amidst the desperation for the young fly half to regain his form. The Torquay born playmaker was working hard on his game, now unburdened by the captaincy that had since been released. His ability to manage the game was starting to return, but Exeter’s exodus of players was affecting the quality of those he had outside of him.

With the club on the very obvious rebuild, Simmonds made the decision to rebuild his own career, away from the limelight of his boyhood club. Off to France he went, with Pau the destination. Now playing in the Top 14, Simmonds has combined with former Wasps and England scrum half Dan Robson to great success, with their new club now sitting comfortably in fourth place in the table.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I’m 27 who knows where I’m going to be in the next two years, for me I just wanted to come out here and just love rugby again, and I feel like I’m doing that. I’ve been here four or five months now and I’m really enjoying my rugby, and that’s just because I made this decision to come out here.”

“I’d love to play for England” Simmonds concluded, “and obviously I’ve got to be in England to play, but for now my job is to keep improving here and helping the team win games.”

Related Articles

  • 12 WEEKS AGO

    Bristol Bears break 20-year record with victory...

  • 12 WEEKS AGO

    All Blacks star Jordie Barrett discusses...

  • 12 WEEKS AGO

    Gloucester's next 'Rees-Zammit' scores incredible...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 23 HOURS AGO

    Wallabies star Filipo Daugunu commites daylight robbery for superb try against Wales

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Wallabies score incredible end-to-end try under immense pressure from Wales

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Beauden Barrett sets up EXCEPTIONAL All Blacks try to take the lead against England

  • 1 DAY AGO

    WATCH: Smith and Freeman combine to put England in front in Auckland

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Two incredible tries in the space of two minutes as All Blacks and England come out swinging

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    England enforcer's tour could be over following red card vs Japan

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Pitch invader melted in thunderous tackle

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bath's Beno Obano shown red in the Premiership final

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    World Player of the Year BANNED heading into Paris Olympics following horror challenge during Madrid SVNS

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Debate surrounding ludicrous rugby league tackle leaves union fans baffled

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 17 HOURS AGO

    Magnificent Frawley drop goal seals Irish victory in Durban as Kolbe accused of 'diving'

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Northampton fans dismayed as 'dismal' new badge revealed

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Fans bemused as France make use of 'attacking' new rule for defensive purpsoes

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Crazy end to France vs All Blacks match as TMO involved in final kick

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Rugby 25 early access given shock release

View All

Funnies

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Wild changing room scenes as Toulouse begin their Top 14 victory celebrations

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Footage emerges of Handre Pollard before his famous RWC semi penalty

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    'I don't think I've found a front rower that is normal' - Joe Marler

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Rassie Erasmus's underrated mental warfare ahead of Ireland series

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Rugby brotherhood on full display between three South African Rugby legends

View All

Amateur

  • 79 WEEKS AGO

    You Won’t See Many Better Than This Silky-Smooth Try From Llandovery RFC

  • 79 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes As Caldy RFC Hand Ealing First Championship Defeat Of The Season

  • 102 WEEKS AGO

    Dubious Score Decides Result Of Rugby's Biggest Schools Fixture

  • 102 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes At School Boys Rugby Match

  • 102 WEEKS AGO

    The Next Dominant Backrow?

View All

Player Features

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Ringrose in for Aki as Farrell names Ireland squad to face Springboks

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Match preview: All Blacks vs England

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Japanese club confirms three big name overseas signings

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Semi-finalists decided after torrential rain disrupts final round of pool matches

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Ireland to face most capped starting XV in Springbok history

View All