Sam Simmonds: Exeter forward 'can force England recall with form' - Rob Baxter

Sam Simmonds
Sam Simmonds won seven caps for England between November 2017 and March 2018

Exeter number eight Sam Simmonds can force an England recall by continuing his good recent form, says Rob Baxter.

The 25-year-old back-row was omitted from Eddies Jones' Six Nations squad.

Simmonds is the Champions Cup's joint-top try-scorer with six as the Chiefs secured a home quarter-final, while they are also top of the Premiership.

"It's down to Sam to play very well every week, show real consistency and make the decision for Eddie Jones," Chiefs boss Baxter told BBC Sport.

"That's what you have to do as an international player. If you want to play international rugby you have to go out there and decide that you get picked."

Simmonds has won seven caps for England since making his debut against Argentina in November 2017 and scored two tries against Italy in the 2018 Six Nations.

But a knee injury meant the explosive back-row, who can play at either flanker or number eight, missed much of last season.

Despite first-choice Billy Vunipola being ruled out of the Six Nations with a broken arm, Simmonds was one of several in-form number eights overlooked by Jones in favour of Worcester's Ted Hill and Saracens' Ben Earl., who both normally operate on the flanks.

Sam Simmonds
Sam Simmonds has scored six tries in five Champions Cup appearances this season

"We pick certain players in certain positions for certain games because of what we're expecting either from our systems or from those players or from that week," said Exeter's director of rugby Baxter.

"I imagine Eddie Jones will go through exactly the same process, and if at this stage he thinks Sam isn't the guy to fit into that process, then he doesn't think he fits in."

Exeter did have centre Ollie Devoto, prop Harry Williams and hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie called up, but injuries ruled out centre Henry Slade and wing Jack Nowell.

While scrum-half Jack Maunder is on the fringes of the England squad, Baxter says there are a number of other players at Sandy Park who could force their way into Jones' thinking.

"I would expect that guys like Sam Simmonds and Jonny Hill, Alec Hepburn, Ben Moon, those guys who've been involved previously, I'd love to think that those guys are right up there as well.

"The season that Dave Ewers is having, you never know where his involvement might be; there are a lot of players playing well and that's the important thing.

"The best way for these lads to put themselves in the shop window is to play at the top of the Premiership and to play well in the Heineken Cup, and if we keep doing that we give ourselves every opportunity to have more international recognition."