Andy Goode has questioned England head coach Eddie Jones’ decision to avoid calling up Sam Simmonds for the injured Jack Willis.
Simmonds has consistently impressed for the Exeter Chiefs in both the Heineken Champions Cup and Gallagher Premiership, but has only managed to amass seven England caps under Jones to date.
The Exeter number eight has scored an astonishing 11 tries in the current Premiership season, six more than second placed Paolo Odogwu, but has been overlooked by Jones yet again.
Squad update | @LeicesterTigers forward George Martin has been called up to the squad with Jack Willis ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury.
We wish @jackswillis7 all the best in his recovery 💪
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) February 18, 2021
‘Is Eddie making it personal for some reason?’
19-year-old Leicester Tigers forward George Martin has been called up to replace Willis, leaving Goode to question what more Simmonds has to do to earn an international call up.
“So Eddie has called up George Martin to replace Jack Willis in the England rugby squad. A good young player with bags of potential but Eddie are you okay?
“Can’t be serious in not picking Sam Simmonds, can he? It’s now becoming a joke or Eddie is making it personal for some reason?” Goode tweeted.
So Eddie has called up George Martin to replace Jack Willis in the @EnglandRugby squad. A good young player with bags of potential but Eddie are you ok can’t be serious in not picking Sam Simmonds can he? It’s now becoming a joke or Eddie is making it personal for some reason
— Andy Goode (@AndyGoode10) February 18, 2021
Simmonds last played for England in 2018, starting at number eight against Ireland at Twickenham Stadium on St. Patrick’s Day.
While the Exeter player hasn’t suffered any noticeable drop in form since then, Simmonds has found himself left out of international rugby, despite his try-scoring exploits at club level.
At 103 kilos (16st 2lbs) Simmonds isn’t the biggest number eight around, but his size hasn’t limited him in producing the goods for the Chiefs.