Scrum-half Harry Simmons says with each match he plays in the senior side he is growing with confidence after coming off the bench in last weekend’s Anglo-Welsh cup win over Cardiff Blues at Welford Road.
Having now featured in each of the three fixtures in this season’s two-nation tournament for Leicester Tigers, Simmons also made his European debut in the Champions Cup away trip to Castres to kick off the year with another milestone.
“I’ve come on well this season, I feel with more experience, having made my European debut, and feel I’ve definitely got more confidence,” Simmons said.
One of four players to be used in the No.9 shirt for Tigers this season, Simmons recently re-signed with the club as one of eight in a group of development squad players which also included his competition for the scrum-half spot Ben White who this week was named to start in the position for England Under-20s in their Six Nations opener against Italy.
Ben Youngs has been named to start with England’s senior side and, alongside scrum-half colleague Sam Harrison, Simmons says the senior players have been a big help.
“Ben and Sam, who have had all the scrum-half coaching under the sun, take me and Whitey through sessions and are always working with us,” he said. “We’re always making each other better.”
Spotted as a youngster in the Tigers catchment area of Norfolk, where Youngs also started, Simmons admits to not only wanting to follow in the footsteps of the England scrum-half but also being star-struck when he first arrived to the club’s Oval Park training ground, given the star-studded make-up of the squad.
“They have both always been here and it’s nice to follow in their footsteps, pick their brains and just continue to learn from them.”
“It was something that hit me when I came to the club, among so many superstars, but they are just normal blokes and really nice lads.”
Simmons is noted for his pace and his versatility which has seen him play at full-back in the 'A' League and is now making the biggest step-up of all from development level to senior rugby.
“The biggest step up is the mental aspect,” he says. “But they bring you through really well here, it’s good how they gradually build you in to it."
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