Simmons won't take Test for granted

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Rob Simmons doesn’t want to be ambushed by the end of his Test career.

The 27-year-old has been dropped from the Wallabies team twice this season but said the trepidation came more when he did play, having heard of so many who never knew that their time had come until it was too late.

“You hear from a lot of players that a lot of players never knew when their last one was and you hear a lot of stories of their actual last game. they didn't think it was going to be,” he said.

“I like to listen to those stories and I think every time you do get to pull the jersey on is not taken for granted.

Simmons will hand over lineout calling to Adam Coleman on Saturday. Photo: ARU Media/Stu Walmsley

“You don't get that feeling when you get dropped, you get it more when you actually get chosen.”

Simmons returns to the Wallabies’ starting side on Saturday for his first match since Australia’s 42-8 loss in the Bledisloe opener but this time will hand over the lineout reins to rookie Adam Coleman, who Cheika has entrusted with calling the set piece.

“It's been a long time since I haven't been a lineout caller,” he said.

“You know as a lineout caller that all you want from anyone else is to just clearly know their role so when a call's made it can be carried down.”

Ironically letting someone else call the lineouts shots is something that he’s become relatively used to, featuring in three matches in the NRC for Queensland Country.

“The idea of the competition is to develop players so when I went back there I left the Wallabies as the lineout caller, [and went] to wanting to nurture a lineout caller,” he said.

“I didn't go back and call the lineouts, the guy who was going to call the lineouts that week stayed calling the lineouts and just my presence was helping him with his confidence , the calls, things like that.

Simmons has played three games for Queensland Country. Photo: ARU Media/Stu Walmsley

“He could bounce ideas out there on the field with me and a big realisation that first week was the role you have on younger players.”

Simmons was sent back to the provincial competition to assert some aggression and between NRC and Wallabies training did enough to meet the benchmarks that Wallabies coach Michael Cheika set.

“[He wanted me to] try and really have a physical presence out there and lead that tight five around the field in those close encounters to be really physical and lead the rest of the team forward in that area,” he said.

“He was quite clear what he wanted from me going back to play NRC and once I showed that he said he'd pick me.

“I just had to do my best and he shown faith in that.”