Baxter tips Simmonds for World Cup place
Sam Simmonds should recover from a serious knee injury to play in the 2019 World Cup, according to Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter.
The 23-year-old back-row forward was ruled out for at least six months after suffering a anterior cruciate knee ligament injury during the 28-11 Gallagher Premiership victory against Worcester Warriors on September 29.
Simmonds will now miss the majority of the Chiefs' campaign, while he is also sidelined for England's autumn internationals next month and the Six Nations in early 2019.
However, Baxter is backing Simmonds to be available towards the end of the Premiership season and that will stand him in good stead for the Red Rose's bid for World Cup glory in Japan next September.
On Simmonds, who had scored an impressive five tries this season before his injury, Baxter told the BBC: "He may well end up being the fittest and freshest back-row forward.
"He can finish this season potentially with some big games to play, but also with the potential to still play in a World Cup. He's got to be focused on what's still achievable, not what he's going to miss."
Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.