Simmons in duel for Wallabies jersey

Adrian Warren
Wallabies hopeful Rob Simmons will return to Brisbane to take on his old team the Queensland Reds

NSW Waratahs lock Rob Simmons will shut out all emotion and try to assert himself in a potential Wallabies audition when he lines up in Brisbane against Queensland for the first time since he was cut by the Reds.

The lock played 114 games over ten seasons for the Reds before being told last year his contract wouldn't be renewed.

The 29-year-old, 82-Test lock played in a big win over the Reds at the SCG in April.

He's not fretting over whether he will get a hostile crowd reaction at Suncorp Stadium in Saturday's Super Rugby clash.

"I've played them once, that was a big one for me," Simmons said.

"I need to concentrate on my own game than worry about the emotional side off the field."

With Adam Coleman seemingly assured of one Test lock spot, Simmons is set to be playing off on Saturday against former Reds teammate Izack Rodda for the other second-row starting berth.

Simmons recognised the importance of aiming up against Rodda.

"It's very important," he said.

"You've got to do your research on your own guy and figure out how you can get over him."

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has praised Simmons for his recent form and the player himself is pleased with how he has performed after missing a couple of early-season games with a quadriceps injury.

"I've been liking the way I've been tracking, I've been trying to improve every game," Simmons said.

Simmons is better qualified than most to have some idea of the mindset Queensland will take into the game against their oldest rival.

He believes their desire to win every battle has been accentuated under new coach Brad Thorn.

"It's a real 'lets go to battle mentality' and the forwards take that on and try and punch little holes in you everywhere," he said.

Simmons has been in touch with Reds prop James Slipper who was recently given a two-month ban after twice testing positive for cocaine.

Slipper has some significant personal issues, but Simmons said he fully expected his old Reds and Wallabies teammate to play again.

"Speaking to him, I know he will, he can't wait to get back out there, but he knows he's got to get himself right first," Simmons said.