Sim­mons looks cer­tain to lock in deal with Waratahs

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - JIM TUCKER

THE two- month ca­reer limbo for Wal­la­bies lock Rob Sim­mons is over with a deal all but fi­nalised to play for the NSW Waratahs.

It’s ironic that the on- field en­e­mies that Sim­mons spent nine sea­sons try­ing his best to beat for the Queens­land Reds have ex­tended him the life­line.

Com­mon­sense has found him an ideal home when the size of the two- year deal he signed with the Aus­tralian Rugby Union in April threat­ened to price him out of the lo­cal mar­ket.

The Waratahs al­ways looked the best fit af­ter his crudely- han­dled ax­ing from the Reds in June be­cause his 71- Test pedi­gree is just what his new pack needs.

He adds a li­ne­out gen­eral, top scrum­mag­ing and real hunger in the void left by the exit of top NSW locks Dean Mumm, Will Skel­ton and Dave Den­nis over the past two sea­sons.

Sim­mons had of­fers abroad but his de­ter­mi­na­tion to base his bid from home for the 2019 World Cup is a strong vote for his value.

The list of bor­der- hop­pers from the Reds to the Waratahs is a short but prom­i­nent one over the past 20 years start­ing with Ja­son Lit­tle, Wen­dell Sailor, Drew Mitchell, Ber­rick Barnes, Nathan Grey and Bren­dan Can­non.

Sim­mons has been throw­ing his weight around at the Wal­laby camp in Cess­nock in a full- on ef­fort to win se­lec­tion for the Bledis­loe Cup opener in Sydney in a week.

Sec­ond- row side­kick Izack Rodda, 20, is as much in the dark as Sim­mons when it comes to coach Michael Cheika’s idea on who will part­ner Adam Cole­man at lock against the All Blacks.

“I’ve no idea. All the locks are fight­ing for a spot,” Rodda said. “For me, this week has been un­real just rip­ping in and try­ing to earn a cap which is the dream I’ve had since I started in rugby.”

Waratahs re­cruit Rob Sim­mons.

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