Wallabies lock Rob Simmons says he has no intention of being a passenger at the Waratahs and wants to lift his game to another level after leaving Queensland.
No fan of the veteran tag, NSW recruit Rob Simmons intends to shore up his regained Wallabies berth by raising his game to another level amid a Waratahs resurgence.
At age 28 and with 82 Test caps, Simmonds is in the prime years for an international lock and he was snapped up by the Tahs after the tough experience of being dumped by the Queensland Reds.
The Reds opted to go with a promising set of emerging locks including newly-minted 2017 Wallabies Izack Rodda and Lukhan Tui.
With 2017 Australian under-20 representatives Harry Hockings and Angus Blyth and Wallabies stalwart Kane Douglas also signed up, there was no room for Simmons, who had made made 114 appearances for the Reds stretching back to 2009.
"I tried to move on quite quickly I understood how it was and that's all good," said Simmons at Waratahs training on Tuesday.
The Waratahs are desperate improve on a poor 2017 season that yielded just four wins against 11 losses in Super Rugby for second-last place in a weak Australian conference.
Simmons relished arriving in that situation.
"It's a new challenge for me, the opportunity I have here as to where I am in my career and where this team wants to go, that's exciting," he said.
"That's something I'm looking forward to and really contributing to the team, not just coming as a passenger and just doing what I've always done.
"I want to take it to another level and contribute to this team where they want to go."
Simmons made his Test debut in 2010 and was a regular Wallabies starter from 2013, playing in the 2015 World Cup final.
He was dropped to the bench on several occasions in 2016 and 2017 with his physicality coming under question in some quarters.
But coach Michael Cheika started Simmons in Australia's last five Tests, including the win over the All Blacks in Brisbane.
"A goal of mine is to get in that side and continue from where I finished last year." Simmons said.
"But one of my key focuses is not to think about that and if you perform then that will look after itself.
Simmons will bring much needed experience to the Tahs second row following the departure of Will Skelton and the retirement of Dean Mumm.
"I don't like the word veteran, I'm still only 28, I'm still young," Simmons said.