Exeter Chiefs’ Sevens skipper Sam Simmonds is after a spot in the XV's back-row this season after impressing in the Premiership Rugby Sevens Series.
The 21-year-old also won the Man of the Round award as Exeter progressed to the Premiership Sevens Series showpiece from Group B at Sandy Park in July.
The flanker hopes he has pressed his case for a spot in the Chiefs’ first team alongside the likes of Julian Salvi, Ben White and Don Armand.
"We’ve still got some pre-season games which I’ll be involved in, I can only keep trying to push my cause. Hopefully I’ve done that over the last few weeks in the Premiership Sevens … I want to push on when I’m at Exeter, and keep training hard. Obviously the back-row at Exeter isn’t easy to get into so it’s going to be a hard year, but I’m looking forward to the challenge," Simmonds told the Exeter Chiefs official website.
Exeter fought back from 21-7 down in their semi-final against Sale Sharks with Harrison Cully’s late try seeing them through to the final where they faced hosts Wasps.
And in a final which swung both ways throughout, it was Wasps who managed to come away with the title, despite Chiefs’ late charge which so nearly bore fruit on the whistle.
Simmonds was delighted with the efforts of his players after a great tournament which saw them win every group game on home soil two weeks ago.
"I’m proud of what we’ve achieved in the last two weeks … Obviously we would have loved to have won it but Wasps were the better side in the end. They had obviously done their homework against us and fronted up physically, so we are proud of what we have done. Next year we’ll try to go one better again and keep improving," he said.
"It was a team performance really; there’s other boys around me that really played well today, played a lot better than they did last week. To win the first two games, especially when we were behind against Sale, we showed big character."