Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Red to Miss Idol Battle; Simmons Aiming for Wallabies

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Red to Miss Idol Battle; Simmons Aiming for Wallabies

Article excerpt

Byline: Richard Harvey APN SPORT BUREAU

RUGBY UNION: Queensland Reds lock Rob Simmons is going to find it strange playing against the Western Force at Brisbaneas Suncorp Stadium tonight because it will be the first time his hero Nathan Sharpe wonat be in the men from Perthas line-up.

Sharpe, the Wallabies most-capped forward and two-time John Eales medallist, brought the curtain down on his decorated career in Cardiff last December after the former Force captain led the Wallabies to victory against Wales in his 116th and final Test.

Now Sharpe has swapped his boots for a microphone and TV commentary duties, and Simmons is really going to miss the duel he used to relish a going head-to-head with Sharpe.

aMy run-on debut for the Reds in 2010 was against the Force and Nathan,a said Simmons, who earned his 50th Queensland cap against the Waratahs earlier this season.

aWe played against each other about four times and we always had a good battle a there was nothing better than testing yourself against the best in the business and Nathan had been that for a long time.

aIt just wonat be the same seeing him on the sideline and not in the thick of the action.a

But how is it Sharpe became such an idol for Simmons?

aI started playing rugby when I went to Southport School just like Nathan had done a few years earlier a he was like a god there,a Simmons, 23, said. …

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