Sam Simmonds in Montpellier next season to replace Zach Mercer

While the MHR will lose Zach Mercer at the end of the season, they have found another English number 8 to replace him in the person of Sam Simmonds.

As RMC Sports announced on Friday, information that we can confirm, Montpellier has already completed the replacement of Zach Mercer at the end of the season. The current French champion managed to attract Sam Simmonds.

Exeter’s Taulier (80 tries in 116 matches!), two-time English champion (2017, 2020) and European champion (2020), the English number 8 (27 years old, 14 caps) has decided to go abroad, which will then make him ineligible for the XV of the Rose. It will be necessary to see if he will join France before or after the 2023 World Cup (September 8-October 28) depending on whether or not he is in the English team.

Despite great club performances, Joe’s older brother Exeter flyhalf never found favor with Eddie Jones when Warren Gatland called him into the British and Irish Lions squad for the Africa Tour du Sud in the summer of 2021 ( Sam Simmonds had participated in one of the three tests). He is, therefore, a very nice move from the MHR, which had managed to attract a Zach Mercer two years ago who was also highly valued in England but rejected by Eddie Jones.

Philippe Saint-André, director of the MHR.

“I’m not going to say anything but if he comes he’s a good player, a good team.

Mercer impressed so much in the Top 14 that he was eventually back on his manager’s radar, to the point of signing a contract in Gloucester on July 1, 2023 to be eligible for the World Cup.

Asked about the possible arrival of Sam Simmonds after the victory over Pau on Saturday afternoon (43-17), MHR coach Philippe Saint-André confirmed… without really confirming: “Recruitment is announced in April or May, but it is an open secret that we are looking for an eight. I know the market well in England, where I played, coached and even called matches for RMC. I’m not going to say anything but if he comes he’s a good player, a good pick (laughs). »

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