Simmons continuing to grow in Wallabies fold

by Staff Writer

Wallabes lock Rob Simmons says he never felt comfortable under coach Michael Cheika but that was the best thing for him.

Simmons competed with returned lock Dean Mumm for a starting spot during the Wallabies’ World Cup campaign and played in every one of the Wallabies’ eight Cup matches.

The 26-year-old said his game had developed immensely during his time in camp.

“I suppose you never really feel comfortable under Cheik but I feel like I’m growing within the team,” he said.

“I work closely with Michael and he’s helping me get the best out of myself.”

Simmons said there was still time to reflect and review before turning the focus to 2016 and a three-Test series against England in June.

“I don’t really know - we’re still reviewing what we’ve just done and debriefing do that enjoy it and then move on to the next year when it comes.

The World Cup served as a preview of the Reds’ starting lock combination as well but the union between he and Kane Douglas will have to wait a little longer to be shown at domestic level.

Douglas ruptured his ACL in the first 15 minutes of the World Cup final, an injury that will likely rule him out for 6-9 months, as he prepares for surgery this week.

The injury is another setback for Douglas who had overcome a serious back injury suffered in his stint with Irish club Leinster to be involved in the World Cup.

He was one of the form locks of the tournament and a defensive powerhouse for Australia, leading the side’s tackle counts in numerous knock out matches.

Simmons, speaking before confirmation of the severity of Douglas’s injury, said he was confident in the Reds’ youth coming through.

“We’ve got plenty of depth coming through the NRC,” he said.

“We’ve got Cadeyrn Neville who’s...playing very well.

“I’m sure Kane will get over the injury - he always works hard.”

Queensland was dealt a double blow on Thursday with confirmation that captain James Slipper requires shoulder surgery.

Slipper played in all but one of the Wallabies’ World Cup matches, missing just the pool match against Uruguay with concussion.

Slipper played almost the entirety of the Super Rugby season for the Reds in 2015, despite battling a myriad injuries throughout.

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