Injured back row Sam Simmonds still has a great chance to make the England squad for the 2019 World Cup, says Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter.
The 23-year-old injured knee ligaments in Chiefs’ win over Worcester on 29 September and is likely to be out for most of the 2018-19 season.
But Baxter says Simmonds may benefit from some time away from the game.
“He may well end up being the fittest and freshest back-row forward,” Baxter told BBC Sport.
Simmonds had already scored five tries this season before his injury and was the Premiership’s joint-second highest try-scorer last term with 12.
“He can finish this season potentially with some big games to play, but also with the potential to still play in a World Cup,” added Baxter.
“He’s got to be focused on what’s still achievable, not what he’s going to miss.”