EXETER CHIEFS HAVE reported a double injury blow to their pack 11 days out from Munster’s opening round Heineken Champions Cup visit to Sandy Park.

Director of rugby Rob Baxter today confirmed that England back row Sam Simmonds and lock Jonny Hill will be forced to sit out the 13 October meeting with Johann van Graan’s men – and potentially much longer.

The Chiefs currently sit second in the Premiership table after opening the season with five straight wins (their 24 points bettered only by Saracens’ 100% record and 25 points) however, the loss of two dynamic forwards will come as a blow.

Simmonds, who has five tries to his name in this five-game old season, suffered a knee injury in the weekend win over Worcester. Hill, who is uncapped but toured with England this summer, sustained a hand ligament issue. Both men started the Premiership final loss to Saracens in May and also played a role in the seismic clashes against Leinster last December.

“It’s a little bit early to say how bad they are at the moment,” said Baxter. “Hopefully, they will be back before the end of the season, but I can’t really say at this stage.”

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