Eddie Jones comes within split second of ending Sam Simmonds’ Test career
Deep down, every England fan knows that Sam Simmonds isn’t Eddie Jones’ favourite England player, his choice to overlook him for years proves that.
Even with the Exeter Chiefs No8 back in the England fold, it looks as though Billy Vunipola is Jones’ favoured No8 still.
But Simmonds got the nod to start against Japan at Twickenham today, but he came very close to blowing his chances. In the end the 28-year-old assisted Guy Porter’s try, but everyone watching knew he wanted to score the try himself after gathering the ball in space near the line.
Porter was in acres of space outside Simmonds, but he did try his chances before getting the pass off. Had he gone for the try and failed, it could have been curtains on his Test career. With Vunipola on the bench, Alex Dombrandt returning soon and Zach Mercer returning to England to make a run for the World Cup, mistakes like that could be costly.
Jones would have been quick to punish him if he spurned that chance, but luckily he made the right move. Take a look at the try:
It’s a first international try for Guy Porter 🏉
— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) November 12, 2022
15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 14 caps)
14. Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby)
13. Guy Porter (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)
12. Owen Farrell (C) (Saracens, 98 caps)
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 69 caps)
10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 14 caps)
9. Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 4 caps)
1. Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 40 caps)
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 38 caps)
3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 53 caps)
4. David Ribbans (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
5. Jonny Hill (Sale Sharks, 16 caps)
6. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 59 caps)
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 42 caps)
8. Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 15 caps)
16. Jamie George (Saracens, 69 caps)
17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 71 caps)
18. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 6 caps)
19. Alex Coles (Northampton Saints, 1 cap)
20. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 65 caps)
21. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 118 caps)
22. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 49 caps)
23. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 47 caps)
Japan XV: R Yamanaka; K Matsushima, D Riley, R Nakamura, G Van den Heever T Yamasawa, Y Nagare; K Inagaki, A Sakate (capt), J Gu, W Dearns, J Cornelsen, M Leitch, K Himeno, T Tatafu.
Replacements: K Horikoshi, C Millar, Y Kizu, W Van der Walt, P Labuschagne, N Saito, S Lee, S Fifita.