Rob Simmons is confident he will be switched on for round one, after a week adjusting to life as a new parent.
It’s been a whirlwind four days for the 28-year-old, whose wife Lucy gave birth to first son, William, last Thursday morning.
He had a brutal introduction to parental life, playing NSW’s final trial off just one hour’s sleep, and falling asleep in the sheds while getting stitches for a cut on his head.
“I could feel it, I could understand why they say sleep is so important for athletes now,” he said.
“It definitely affected me but I just tried to put my best out there and I know it wasn't my best but it was the best I could give.”
The new parents are still finding their groove, but it will be Lucy who might take the lion’s share of the load with the Super Rugby season ramping up.
“Just trying to figure out what works for us,” he said.
“My wife's been really good with that. She knows sleep is important for athletes and she's doing her best to do everything herself, which is hard on her and it's hard on everyone.
“It's hard to watch but I know it's important for me as well.”
Simmons combined with Tom Staniforth in the second row in last week’s final trial, but who he will start with on Saturday is not yet clear, with Ned Hanigan in the frame as he comes back from a knee injury.
The Waratahs lineout was patchy against the Rebels, with NSW keen to keep their cards close to their chest, a ploy that backfired at times.
Simmons said set piece would be a huge focus for the side as they look to the Stormers, who will come to Sydney
“We wanted to put pressure on ourselves there - not that much pressure - but we were trying to put pressure on ourselves, not take too many easy options and see where we're at,” he said.
“Leading into the last trial, we want to see where we need to improve. We got some good vision and there and something to improve on.
“We wanted to put pressure on ourselves, keep it simple and we saw the result of that.
“There's something to work on there and we'll be better this week.”
The Waratahs open their season against the Stormers on Saturday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT. Buy tickets here.