Simmons to captain Reds

Date published: January 25 2016

Super Rugby Rd 16 - Reds v Highlanders

In the absence of regular captain James Slipper, lock Rob Simmons has been named the interim captain of the Queensland Reds.

Following Slipper's appearance in the final of the Rugby World Cup, the prop announced he would undergo reconstructive shoulder surgery, which will put him out for around six months.

This opens the door for Simmons, who has earned 88 Super Rugby caps for the Reds since 2008. 

"It's an honour and a proud moment in my life," said the 26-year-old on the Reds' website.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity, but James is still our captain and I know he'll be offering the team plenty of leadership and support from the sidelines.

"It's not really about me, or James, it's about the team and what we want to build here and that's something everyone is contributing to."

Richard Graham, the Reds head coach revealed that Simmons' vast experience and leadership qualities made him an easy choice. 

"James and Rob are two of our more experienced players, they're respected by their peers and are incredibly passionate and committed to the Queensland cause," he added..

"They've both experienced leadership roles here at the Reds and also at the Wallabies in the last 12 months, with James part of the formal leadership group at the World Cup and Rob leading the lineout."

Meanwhile, Slipper is disappointed that he won’t be running out for his franchise, but fully supports his Wallaby teammate as captain. 

"It's obviously disappointing that I won’t be out there at the start of the season, but not only myself but the whole team has a lot of confidence in Rob, he's been at the Reds a long time and he has a genuine love for Queensland," he said.

"He's a well-grounded person and he knows the game well, it's a great opportunity for him and right reward for the hard work he puts in on and off field."

The Reds get their 2016 Super Rugby campaign underway against the Waratahs in Sydney on February 27.

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