Sam Simmonds, the player Eddie Jones refuses to pick, smashed the Premiership try-scoring record with a sensational hat-trick last night.
The Lions-bound Exeter forward took his tally to 19 in just 19 games to beat a record held jointly by England wing Dominic Chapman and NFL star Christian Wade.
World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio hailed the number eight’s astonishing feat as Chiefs booked their place in the end of season play-offs.
“I scored 19 tries in my career for Wasps and I thought I was a decent player,” said Dallaglio. “He’s scored that in one season!
“What a player, what a record, what an achievement."
Simmonds, 26, took just 24 minutes to eclipse a record set by Richmond’s Chapman in 1998 and matched by Wade for Wasps in 2017.
It took his tally to five in two games against the Exiles, with the rest coming against Harlequins (3), Bath (3), Leicester (2), Gloucester (2), Worcester (2), Newcastle and Sale.
“This means a lot to me,” he said as team mates serenaded him with the chant ‘Simmo is a Lion!”
“As a team we’re striving for greatness and we’re striving to win the competition. The boys want me to score, the boys want me to get the record. They’re putting me in those positions, they’ve allowed me to be me.”
Simmonds, who has not been capped by England since 2018, incredibly now has twice as many Premiership tries as his nearest rival.
“I turned up at Exeter at 18 not really knowing what position I wanted to play and about 85 kilos,” he added. “Some people probably think I’m still 85 kilos now.”
Whether that is a dig at England was unclear. One way or another Slammin’ Sam had the final say, diving over at the death for his 50th league try in just 66 games.
LONDON IRISH – Tries: Donnell, Loader. Con: Jackson.
EXETER – Tries: S Simmonds 3, J Simmonds, O’Flaherty. Cons: J Simmonds 3.
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