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Chiefs' Simmonds called up to England squad for first time

Simmonds is an important part of the Chiefs' back-row. Credit: PA

Exeter Chiefs' Sam Simmonds has been called up to the England rugby squad for the first time ahead of the Autumn internationals.

The back-row joins up with England for matches against Argentina Australia and Samoa in November.

Simmonds' teammates Henry Slade and Harry Williams are also in the squad.

Champions Exeter currently sit second in the league, a point behind Saracens.

England head coach Eddie Jones has also included Bath players Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Charlie Ewels, Zach Mercer, Sam Underhill and Tom Dunn.

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Bath forward Matt Garvey signs new deal at the Rec

Matt Garvey has signed a new deal at Bath. Credit: PA Images

Bath Rugby have announced forward Matt Garvey has signed a new contract to stay at the Aviva Premiership club.

Garvey joined Bath from London Irish during the 2013-14 season and has since made more than 90 appearances for the club.

"To have Matt committing to Bath is great news for the club," Bath rugby director Todd Blackadder said.

"He is a huge competitor, an inspiring leader and an invaluable squad member on and off the field."

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Sale wants January talks with Ford over move

Sale will seek talks with George Ford in January after confirming their interest in recruiting the England fly-half.

Todd Blackadder, Bath's director of rugby, stated on Monday that Ford would be allowed to leave the Recreation Ground at the end of the season and the Sharks have leapt ahead of Leicester and Northampton in the race for his signature.

The 23-year-old was born in Oldham and has been linked with a move away from the west country from the moment his father Mike was sacked by Bath last summer.

George Ford could head back north. Credit: PA

Aviva Premiership regulations state that from January 1 he is permitted to talk to other clubs and Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond is hoping to open negotiations as soon as possible.

"We would be interested in anyone of George Ford's ability," Diamond told BBC North West Tonight.

"We've not had direct contact [with Bath or George], but when January 1 arrives and the transfer window opens we can start discussions if he fancies a chat."

But the bookies think Ford is most likely to stay at the Rec.

Betway are now taking bets on where the England fly-half will be at the start of the 2017/18 season.

While Leicester Tigers and Sale Sharks are the likely front-runners if he does move to another Premiership club, the bookies' overwhelming favourite is for the 23-year-old to stay at Bath, at 8/11.

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