Sam Simmonds deals British and Irish Lions an injury scare after Chiefs No 8 limps off in Exeter’s thrilling 29-26 Premiership victory over Northampton
- Sam Simmonds limped off during Exeter’s thrilling 29-26 win vs Northampton
- The Chiefs number eight went off in the second half and had ice applied to ankle
- It could be a blow for the British and Irish Lions as Dan Biggar was also taken off
Sam Simmonds faces a nervous wait to find out if the ankle injury he picked up yesterday for Exeter is serious ahead of his first Lions tour.
The 26-year-old No 8 was seen with an ice-pack on his left ankle when substituted 65 minutes into the game at Northampton which the Chiefs won dramatically.
It was a recurrence of a problem he has been managing since rolling his ankle against Bristol six weeks ago, and Exeter hope it will not rule him out of their title push or his Lions debut in South Africa this summer.
Sam Simmonds dealt British and Irish Lions injury scare after limping off against Northampton
‘We didn’t take him off because it was a clear “that’s it, he’s done”, I thought let’s get on with things and keep the momentum in the game,’ said Simmonds’ boss Rob Baxter.
‘I don’t want to make a call on how bad it is. It could be very minor.
‘We will take everything into account and if the right thing medically is for him not to play against Sale next week then he won’t.
‘People are either fit or they are not. Sam likes playing. He does not think rest suits him – but if his ankle isn’t right, it isn’t right.
‘He won’t want to be cotton-wool wrapped for the Lions. We don’t know the extent of the injury at all.’
All Exeter’s points came in the second half as they completed the biggest comeback in their Premiership history having been 18-0 down at half-time to 14-man Saints – their four tries came from Sam Skinner, Stuart Hogg, Stu Townsend and Ollie Devoto with Joe Simmonds kicking the rest.
Warren Gatland could be left sweating over the fitness of the number eight ahead of the tour
The Chiefs secured thrilling 29-26 win over Northampton in Premiership at Franklin’s Gardens
They are now one point away from guaranteeing a home semi-final in the playoffs with direct challengers Sale at Sandy Park next Saturday to come on the final day.
Northampton saw lock Dave Ribbans sent off for a high tackle on Luke Cowan-Dickie 14 minutes in. A big ban could preclude him from winning an England cap this summer.
But Saints fought admirably, with two super tries from Rory Hutchinson and one from Mikey Haywood with Dan Biggar kicking two penalties, a conversion and a drop-goal.
The Lions fly-half was taken off in the second half as a precaution with a chest issue, but after coach Chris Boyd played down the knock which is understood not to be serious.
While disappointed at the defeat, Boyd was proud of his Saints. ‘It was a tremendous effort by our guys,’ he said.
Dan Biggar was also taken off after chest blow but it was thought to be a precautionary action
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