Full steam ahead for Simmons

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

He’s still learning his teammates’ names, but new Waratahs lock Rob Simmons won’t be shying away from making himself heard in NSW.

Simmons, who was given a Super Rugby lifeline by the Waratahs, brings with him 82 Tests and 101 Super Rugby caps.

With less than a month until trials begin, the 28-year-old said there was no time to sit back and soak in a new team atmosphere.

“I just want to bring my experience (to the Waratahs),” he said.

“It’s a little bit (of)...a fresh start, there's new challenge and opportunity down here and I don't want to come in and be a passenger, I want to bring everything I've got, my game, and my experience.”

Rob Simmons has swapped red for blue. Photo: NSW Rugby MediaFor Simmons, who was once a Reds vice-captain, that means making his voice heard when it needs to be.

“I suppose having such a short preseason, it's a bit of both with knowing when to talk, figuring out the groove,” he said.

“I’m figuring out who's who still, I've only had one day so still trying to figure that out but at the same time (because) we've got such a short time, we've got to come in 100 per cent and bring that experience from day one, you can't just sit back and go, ‘People will figure it out,’ when that's part of being experienced is bringing that straight away.”

Simmons isn’t the only one at the Waratahs looking for a new chapter, with the team kicking off the year in their new headquarters in Sydney’s south-east and looking to put a disappointing year behind them.

“Even from day one, everyone wants to move on and start brand new, a new team sort of feel (compared) to what's happened from in the past,” he said.

“Everyone's trying to leave last year.

“They want to dump that and go let's move on, we never want that feeling again and they want to move forward from there.”

Israel Folau returned to training on Monday. Photo: NSW Rugby Media The lock was among a handful of Test players who returned to training on Monday, including Israel Folau returning from sabbatical.

Just three players are yet to make an appearance, with Kurtley Beale, Michael Hooper and Bernard Foley all given extended breaks due to their 2017 loads.

The Waratahs play their first trial on Friday February 2, against the Highlanders in Queenstown, and open their Super Rugby season on Saturday February 24 against the Stormers at Allianz.

NSW kicks off its Super Rugby season against the Stormers at Allianz Stadium, kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT. Buy tickets at waratahs.com.au.