Exeter Chiefs number eight Sam Simmonds has been named as the Gallagher Premiership’s player of the season.
Simmonds has been in excellent form for the Chiefs this season and has already picked up the record for the most tries in a single Premiership season ahead of the play-offs this weekend.
The pacey back row forward has scored 20 tries in the Premiership this season, three more than previous record holders Dominic Chapman and Christian Wade, and could add a few more in the next two weeks of action.
Drum roll, please…🥁
Your @GallagherUK Player of the Season is:
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) June 18, 2021
Marcus Smith named as runner-up.
Simmonds was nominated alongside Exeter teammate Dave Ewers, Bristol Bears duo Piers O’Connor and Steven Luatua, Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith and Leicester Tigers back row forward Jasper Wiese.
Smith was runner-up to Simmonds for the player of the year award, and will almost certainly finish the campaign as the top points scorer in the Premiership, as he has an 82-point lead on Sale Shark’s AJ MacGinty in second place.
The Exeter man is no stranger to personal awards, having been named as the EPCR European player of the year in 2020 after the Chiefs won the Heineken Champions Cup for the first time.
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) June 18, 2021
Busy summer ahead for Sam Simmonds after Premiership season.
Despite not playing for England since 2018, Simmonds was named in Warren Gatland’s 37-man British and Irish Lions squad to travel South Africa next month.
Simmonds has been consistently overlooked by England head coach Eddie Jones in recent years but could finally get another opportunity to prove himself again in test rugby against the Springboks in July.
The 26-year-old is unlikely to be available for the Lions’ first game of the summer against Japan in Edinburgh, as Exeter could be in the Premiership final on the same day.
However, Simmonds will have plenty of opportunities to prove himself to Gatland and the Lions coaching team in warm-up games in South Africa.