British and Irish Lions: Sam Simmonds limps away in Exeter’s thrilling 29-26 win over Northampton

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Sam Simmonds injures British and Irish Lions after Chiefs No 8 limps in Exeter’s thrilling 29-26 Premiership win over Northampton

  • Sam Simmonds stumbled away in Exeter’s thrilling 29-26 win over Northampton
  • The Chiefs number eight took off in the second half and got ice on the ankle
  • It could be a blow to the British and Irish Lions as Dan Biggar ran off too

Sam Simmonds has to wait nervously to find out if the ankle injury he sustained for Exeter yesterday is serious ahead of his first Lions tour.

The 26-year-old number 8 was seen with an ice pack on his left ankle as he was substituted 65 minutes into Northampton, which the Chiefs won dramatically.

It was a repeat of an issue he’s been managing since he rolled his ankle against Bristol six weeks ago, and Exeter hopes it won’t exclude him from their title push or his Lions debut in South Africa this summer.

Sam Simmonds treated an injury fear for the Lions after limping out against Northampton

Sam Simmonds treated an injury fear for the Lions after limping out against Northampton

Warren Gatland could be sweating over the fitness of the number eight before the tour

Warren Gatland could be sweating over the fitness of the number eight before the tour

Warren Gatland could be sweating over the fitness of the number eight before the tour

“We didn’t take it off because it was clear ‘that’s it, it’s done’, I thought let’s go ahead and keep the momentum going,” said Simmonds boss Rob Baxter.

“I don’t want to call about how bad it is. It can be very small.

“We will take everything into account and if it is medically right for him not to play against Sale next week then he won’t.

‘People are fit or not. Sam likes to play. He doesn’t think rest is right for him – but if his ankle isn’t right, he isn’t right either.

“He won’t want to be pampered for the Lions. We don’t know at all how big the injury is.’

The Chiefs took a thrilling 29-26 victory over Northampton in the Premiership at Franklin's Gardens

The Chiefs took a thrilling 29-26 victory over Northampton in the Premiership at Franklin's Gardens

The Chiefs took a thrilling 29-26 victory over Northampton in the Premiership at Franklin’s Gardens

All of Exeter’s points came in the second half as they completed the biggest comeback in their Premiership history after trailing 18-0 at halftime to 14-man Saints – their four tries came from Sam Skinner, Stuart Hogg, Stu Townsend and Ollie Devoto with Joe Simmonds kicking the rest.

They are now one point away from guaranteeing a semi-final at home in the playoffs with direct challengers Sale at Sandy Park next Saturday to make it to the final day.

Northampton saw lock Dave Ribbans sent off for a high tackle on Luke Cowan-Dickie in 14 minutes. A major ban could stop him from winning a cap from England this summer.

Dan Biggar was also discharged after a blow to the chest, but it was thought to be a precautionary measure

Dan Biggar was also discharged after a blow to the chest, but it was thought to be a precautionary measure

Dan Biggar was also discharged after a blow to the chest, but it was thought to be a precautionary measure

But Saints fought admirably, with two super tries from Rory Hutchinson and one from Mikey Haywood, with Dan Biggar hitting two penalties, a conversion and a drop goal.

The Lions fly-half was eliminated in the second half with a chest problem as a precaution, but after coach Chris Boyd outplayed the knockout, which was reportedly not serious.

Though disappointed at the defeat, Boyd was proud of his Saints. “It was a huge effort from our boys,” he said.

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