Planet Rugby

I can shine at six - Simmons

08th November 2013 09:17

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SKY_MOBILE Rob Simmons - Australia lock

Line-out specialist: Simmons

New Wallabies blindside flanker Rob Simmons wants to prove he is worthy of his back-row slot against Italy on Saturday.

Australia travel to Turin to take the Azzurri after a narrow 20-13 defeat to England last weekend at Twickenham.

And the 6ft 6' (1.98m) tall second-row's naming in the number six jersey was undoubtedly the wildcard in coach Ewen McKenzie's line-up.

Simmons himself admits to being shocked by the positional switch, but now says he relishing the chance to feature more prominently in the loose with ball in hand.

"I enjoy running the ball," Simmons told YahooSport.

"I don't get to do it a lot so I guess I have to prove it to my own teammates first this weekend that I'm able to do it and do it well and go from that.

"Numbers in the gym and things like that show that I could do it but I still have to prove myself in that position.

"Playing second-row, you are obviously part of the engine room there and it's quite draining, so (it's good) to be a bit looser and quicker around the field like most sixes are."

McKenzie sprung the surprise on Thursday when the team announcement was made, with line-out specialist Simmons coming in for Scott Fardy, who is suffering from concussion after the Twickenham loss.

But the coach is adamant the newest member of the Wallaby back-row will revel in his role on the flank.

"He'll fit in well," said McKenzie.

"He'll play hard like a second-rower.

"He's a skillful second-rower who is tied down in tight so I think he'll get the chance to show his real skills."

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