"Whatever he does, it's going to hurt": Simmons praises Swinton's intimidation factor

Super Rugby - AU
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Lachie Swinton is the kind of player any team would be lucky to have.

That's the view of NSW captain Rob Simmons, speaking about the backrow enforcer this week.

Swinton has always had the reputation of bringing some edge to games and he did exactly that in the Waratahs' opening match against the Reds last weekend.

The flanker made 13 tackles, including some momentum-shifting hits, at Suncorp Stadium and Simmons says there's more where that came from.

"From when I first came to the Tahs I met Lachie and did not know what to think and that's the beauty of having him in our team," he said.

"He has this difference on the field, he's an animal and just loves the stuff we saw on the weekend."

Swinton's biggest challenge has been in maintaining a balance between enforcer and ill-discipline, something Simmons says the 23-year-old is finding.

"He loves doing that week in, week out and the improvements I've seen over the time, he's just getting more consistent about knowing when to inject himself and how to influence a team, "he said.

"The more he does, he's just going to get better and better.

"One thing I can say, I'm glad he's on my team, he's that kind of guy that I think if you look up and you see him, he's just got this look or this non-look on his face it's like, 'Woah, he's off his head, who knows what he's going to do, but whatever it is it's going to hurt'.

"I think he can really intimidate oppositions."

Swinton's intimidation factor will be pivotal for NSW on Saturday night coming up against a strong Western Force backrow, featuring Henry Stowers, Tevin Ferris and Brynard Stander.

Stander has been particularly impressive for the Force in their Rapid Rugby games in recent seasons.

Simmons said the Waratahs would be wary of the threat the WA backrowers posed.

"They've got a very strong back row, they're going to be at the ball especially given the new laws, the variation or interpretation of the laws but strong back row, their playmakers are going to be strong, they're directed around the park real well," he said.

"Because they spend so much time together, they're very well drilled, they know how to play their attack and got a very good defensive system. We can expect around that contact area is where they'll be looking to probably come for us."

There'll be some familiar faces in the Force lineup for Simmons, including new additions and former Reds Jono Lance and Greg Holmes.

Simmons said new or old faces, the Force would pose a threat that NSW needed to be sure to take seriously.

<"We know those experienced players that were household names in Super Rugby a couple of years ago before they went overseas and you know what to expect," he said.

"What we do know is the guys you haven't heard of or you haven't seen for a little while, they're very good players, that's why they're there, they're all good players.

"We're under no illusion that this is going to be an easy game or something. We're under no illusion they're going to be a tough team and they're going to come out like they have every other time I've played them with a bit of a chip on their shoulder and they try and rufflr teams up so that's what we're expecting and we're going to have to counter that."

The Waratahs host the Force at the SCG on Saturday July 11, kicking off at 7:15pm AEST, LIVE on Foxtel, Foxtel Now and via Kayo Sports. Buy a Kayo subscrioption