Rob Baxter: Exeter Chiefs players deserve more England call-ups

Rob Baxter
Rob Baxter has been in charge of Exeter Chiefs since 2009

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter says the club should have their biggest-ever contingent of players selected for England.

Baxter's side, the reigning Premiership champions, had three players picked for September's training camp.

With Chiefs unbeaten in their Champions Cup pool and second in the Premiership, he hopes more have staked their claim.

"I would expect us to have five or six guys in and around the Elite Player Squad (EPS)," Baxter told BBC Sport.

"It would be a really good mark in the progression we're making both as a side and the progression some of our English players are doing."

Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Harry Williams went on camp last month, but with Nowell and fellow Chiefs England player Luke Cowan-Dickie injured, the door could be open for several others.

Don Armand, who toured with England to Argentina in the summer, and fellow back row Sam Simmonds are two possible candidates.

Armand scored twice as Exeter recorded a memorable win in Montpellier on Sunday, while 22-year-old Simmonds has scored seven tries in his past nine games, including the winner against Saracens in last season's Premiership semi-final.

"I think we've got a really good opportunity to get a decent number in there," added Baxter.

"We're probably on the best run of form that we've shown at this stage of the season ever really.

"We may have done a little bit better in the Premiership in a couple of seasons past, but we've never really followed it through in Europe and we've done that this year.

"We've done everything we can to give ourselves a great opportunity."

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