2020 EPCR European Player of the Year Sam Simmonds once again demonstrated his elite prowess with a hat-trick of tries in Exeter Chiefs’ season opener against Harlequins. 

The Heineken Champions Cup holders made light work of Quins during their 33-3 victory on Friday evening as they started the defence of their domestic title. 

Sam touched down for the first of his three tries in the 22nd minute – converted by his brother Joe – in a tight first period to lead 7-3 at the interval. A Dave Ewers try early in the second half extended Chiefs lead to 14-3. 

With ten minutes remaining the Chiefs when into overdrive – Sam Simmonds scoring two tries in four minutes to put the game beyond doubt. A late Stu Townsend try punctuated the European champions’ opening success.

“He’s bang on form,” Exeter Chiefs Director of Rugby Rob Baxter told the BBC. “That first try was an exceptional piece of play and there’s probably not another back-row forward in the country that can do that. 

“I think that’s what he’s got to do. He’s got to keep showing the things that he can do that nobody else can.”