Simmons looks certain to lock in deal with Waratahs
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.”