Super Rugby
Reds name Rob Simmons interim captain to replace James Slipper
ESPN Staff
January 25, 2016
Rob Simmons
Rob Simmons© (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Rob Simmons will captain Queensland Reds until prop James Slipper returns from injury.

Simmons has not captained Queensland, but he will stand in for Slipper having spent 12 months in a senior leadership role after being named vice-captain of the side last year. The Reds expect Slipper to miss the first half of the season as he recovers from shoulder surgery.

Simmons and Slipper are two of the more experienced members of the Reds squad, with a combined total of 171 caps for Queensland and 134 Tests for Australia. Both players were part of Australia's Rugby World Cup campaign, where the Wallabies finished second.

Simmons said he was thankful for the opportunity to lead his state but his focus remained on the team, not individual honours.

"It's an honour and a proud moment in my life," Simmons said.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity, but James is still our captain and I know he'll be offering the team plenty of leadership and support from the sidelines.

"It's not really about me, or James, it's about the team and what we want to build here and that's something everyone is contributing to."

Slipper said Simmons would do a tremendous job as stand in skipper.

"He's been at the Reds a long time and he has a genuine love for Queensland," Slipper said.

"He's a well-grounded person and he knows the game well. It's a great opportunity for him and right reward for the hard work he puts in on and off field."

Reds head coach Richard Graham said the team had to have continuity in its leadership, and Slipper and Simmons were highly regarded by their teammates.

"They've both experienced leadership roles here at the Reds and also at the Wallabies in the last 12 months, with James part of the formal leadership group at the World Cup and Rob leading the lineout."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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