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Simmons to step in for injured Wallaby

AAP logoAAP 14/11/2016 Joe Barton

Experienced lineout specialist Rob Simmons has put his hand up to lessen the blow caused by a tour-ending knee injury to star rookie Adam Coleman.

The Wallabies were dealt the bad news in Paris on Monday, with coach Michael Cheika confirming Coleman had suffered a grade two medial ligament strain in his left knee early in Saturday's win over Scotland.

It came as a cruel blow to their hopes of winning the grand slam for the first time in 32 years, given Coleman and fellow rookie Rory Arnold had quickly forged an impressive combination.

But the injury paves the way for 68-Test veteran Simmons to make his return to the starting line-up and assume the responsibility of calling lineouts once more; a role he is ready to reclaim.

"I suppose I need to take that opportunity, like I've had to all year and I need to get out there and impress the coaches and try and take that spot," Simmons said.

"Lineout calling, I'm comfortable with. I've been doing it for a while now so that shouldn't be an issue."

An accomplished lineout caller in his own right, Simmons is the natural replacement to partner Arnold.

The pair have enjoyed limited gametime together, but Simmons has quickly grown an appreciation for the 208cm rookie.

"I've been very impressed, he's an angry guy once he crosses that white line and that's exactly what we need from us big fellas," Simmons said.

A promotion for Simmons would leave a hole on the bench, with the versatile Dean Mumm, squad members Will Skelton and Kane Douglas, and a new face on the tour Sam Carter, all capable of filling that void.

Carter, not a member of the initial squad, joined the team in Paris on Sunday after playing with the Barbarians throughout Europe for the past fortnight and could well be in the frame for Saturday's Test against France.

"It's a bit of a shame for (Coleman) because he's had a really good start to the year and he's worked his way through since June," said Cheika.

"In saying that it gives someone else an opportunity now."

Australia is halfway through a potential grand slam win, with Tests against Ireland and England to follow this Saturday's clash with France in Paris.

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