Wallabies lock Rob Simmons got one up on former mentor Matt Taylor on Saturday night, in Australia’s nail-biting victory over Scotland.
Taylor taught Simmons at high school and was his First XV coach in 2007 at The Southport School, before moving into a defence coaching role at the Queensland Reds.
The current Scotland defence coach said last week that he still had a soft spot for his former charges, though his obvious goal was a Scotland win.
Simmons paid tribute to Taylor post-match for the impact that he has had on the Wallabies lock.
“It's been huge, especially with all the defence stuff that he did at the Reds and at school and especially the kind of game we played at school I really enjoyed being coached by him,” Simmons said.
“It's been huge, especially with all the defence stuff that he did at the Reds and at school and especially the kind of game we played at school I really enjoyed being coached by him.” - Rob Simmons
Some of Taylor’s former Reds charges caught up with the Scotland defence coach on Thursday in Edinburgh, ahead of the game.
"We're quite close. He taught me at school so we've got quite a long standing relationship.”
Simmons’ Spring Tour role is set to escalate in coming weeks if the prognosis on Adam Coleman’s medial ligament injury is not good.
The Reds lock took up the lineout calling duties, coming on in the fifth minute to replace Coleman, and said he would be ready to step up if needed for the remaining matches.
“I suppose I need to take that opportunity, like I've had to all year and I need to get out there and impress the coaches and try and take that spot,” he said.
“Lineout calling I'm comfortable with, I've been doing it for a while now so that shouldn't be an issue.”
His partnership with Rory Arnold was a relatively fresh one, with the pair having combined only in the first Test against England in June before Saturday’s at Murrayfield, but Simmons said the young lock had impressed him in just eight Tests
“I've been very impressed, he's an angry guy once he crosses that white line and that's exactly what we need from us big fellas,” he said.
“Considering the game, everyone was very happy to come away with the win.” - Rob Simmons
Simmons said the Scotland win was a revealing one for the Wallabies and they would build on that for next weekend’s France clash.
“Considering the game, everyone was very happy to come away with the win,” he said.
“It was a very hard fought win, I think that shows where the team's at. When things don't go right to come away with that win, is very important for us moving forward."
Australia vs France will be shown LIVE on SBS and beIn Sport on Sunday November 19, kicking off at 7am AEDT.