London Irish have bolstered their Gallagher Premiership squad with another high profile Wallaby, convincing 100-cap Rob Simmons to join an expanding contingent of Australians at the club. While Sale Sharks have concentrated on bringing in South African power to the Premiership, the Exiles have opted for experienced Wallaby talent.
RugbyPass understands that Simmons is due to arrive in October, following fellow lock Adam Coleman (38 caps), prop Sekope Kepu (110 caps), scrum-half Nick Phipps (72 caps) and centre Curtis Rona (3 caps) to the club which is temporarily based at the Twickenham Stoop while the Brentford Community Stadium is completed.
The 6ft 7in lock has represented Australia in 100 Test matches since making his debut in 2010, bringing up his century of caps against Georgia at last year’s World Cup in Japan. It was his third World Cup having previously featured at the 2011 and 2015 tournaments.
Simmons started his career playing in the Australian Rugby Championship for East Coast Aces, with his Super Rugby debut for Reds coming in 2008.
With over 100 Super Rugby appearances, the 31-year-old moved to Waratahs in 2018. At the time he acknowledged interest from overseas clubs and knew that with more than 60 caps he would still be considered for Wallaby selection if he moved overseas.
He said: “The Wallabies have been a big part of my life for nearly a decade now and I’m hugely proud whenever I get the chance to wear the Wallaby jersey.
“I obviously knew that I had the option to still play for Australia and be based overseas and I had interest from a few clubs, but that just wasn’t what I wanted to do.”
The Irish are also bringing full-back Tom Homer back from Bath, the club he joined from the Exiles in 2015. Homer was a regular for England at U18 and U20 levels and was leading scorer in the Junior World Championships with 118 points. He will be linking up with the Exiles squad shortly.
Members of the rugby club climbed Mount Snowdon to commemorate their club stalwart Ross Reeves ?
Climbing over 1000m in nothing but Budgy Smugglers!
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) July 28, 2020
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