EXCLUSIVE: England are dealt a blow ahead of summer tour of Australia with Sam Simmonds set to miss three-Test series to undergo hip surgery – but No 8 should be fit for start of next season
Sam Simmonds is set to miss England’s three-Test summer tour of Australia with the Exeter No 8 ready to undergo surgery on a longstanding hip problem.
The 27-year-old last featured for Rob Baxter’s Chiefs in their Champions Cup last-16 first-leg win over Munster but hasn’t been since with injury curtailing the back end of his campaign.
On Tuesday, Exeter director of rugby Baxter revealed Simmonds will go under the knife to ensure he is fit for next season.
England will be without Sam Simmonds for their three-Test tour of Australia this summer
He is set to undergo surgery on a longstanding hip issue but will be fit for next season’s start
It means he won’t travel with Eddie Jones’ England side to Australia in July.
‘He’s going to be having an operation,’ Baxter said of Simmonds.
‘There are two ways of looking at it. What it will do is really allow him to sort this niggly hip injury which has been causing him pain.
‘The restrictive thing for him has been the pain and not so much the function. If he gets this sorted now it means he can have a good recovery time and a good pre-season.
‘It’s a huge year next year for anyone who has international ambitions with it being a World Cup year. In some ways it will help him really get back to the levels he was at.
‘A couple of years ago he was banging in tries for fun and he’ll want to get back to that because that’s what led to his international and Lions recognition.’
Simmonds and his club and international team-mates Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Jonny Hill were all left out of a 36-man England squad named by Jones on Tuesday for a training camp which begins on Sunday.
Hooker Cowan-Dickie (knee), wing Nowell (arm) and lock Hill (foot) have all suffered injury-hit seasons.
The 27-year-old Exeter star will be hoping to fire on all cylinders for club and country soon
Experienced centre Slade is fully fit and will face Bristol on Friday but is absent from the England training squad with Jones keen to look at other players in London at the start of next week.
‘Luke has got a good chance of being ready for the end stage of the season. In all possibility he could tour,’ Baxter added.
‘Luke, Jack and Jonny are progressing well at the moment and if that progression continues, there is no reason why they can’t tour. The tour is still a little way away.
‘The last round of the Premiership isn’t for a couple of weeks and then there is the semi-final and final so there is still a month before they head off.
‘They still have a decent amount of rehab time before those decisions need to be made.’
ENGLAND TRAINING CAMP SQUAD
Alfie Barbeary (Wasps, uncapped)
Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, 6 caps)
Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 40 caps)
Nic Dolly (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap)
Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 9 caps)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 30 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 36 caps)
Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, 2 caps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 56 caps)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 70 caps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 93 caps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 11 caps)
George McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons, uncapped)
Tom Pearson (London Irish, uncapped)
Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks, 2 caps)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 20 caps)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 28 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 67 caps)
Jack Willis (Wasps, 3 caps)
Henry Arundell (London Irish, uncapped)
Orlando Bailey (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 11 caps)
Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 94 caps)
Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 6 caps)
Will Joseph (London Irish, uncapped)
Louis Lynagh (Harlequins, uncapped)
Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 1 cap)
Harry Randall (Bristol Bears, 6 caps)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 10 caps)
Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 10 caps)
Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 46 caps)
Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, uncapped)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 51 caps)
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