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Rugby News

Simmons previews punishing Premier block

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Leicester Tigers back Harry Simmons has likened the resumption of the Gallagher Premiership season to ‘the first days back at school’.

After a first game in five months against table-toppers Exeter Chiefs last weekend, the Leicester squad now prepare for their first match at Welford Road under new head coach Steve Borthwick.

Scrum-half Simmons compared the excitement and anticipation of a return to rugby with the opening weeks of a new school term.

“It’s very strange to be starting again,” he said. “It’s almost like we’ve been on school holidays and it’s the first days back at school.

“All of the boys are raring to go at home – we’ve had a long second pre-season so the whole squad is itching to get out there and play.”

And with the 22-year-old comfortable across the backline, Simmons hopes to do exactly that during this punishing Premiership block.

“I definitely see myself as versatile,” he continued. “I’d hope to be up for selection as 9, as wing, as a full-back.

“Having that versatility definitely adds another string to my bow and it gives me opportunities wherever the team needs me.

“When we go from Saturday to Wednesday to Sunday, it’s going to be a lot of stress on the boys’ bodies, so if I can be versatile and adaptable enough to play all over the place, that will come in real handy for the team.”

Simmons revealed the squad will also run out at Welford Road on Saturday looking to put in a performance not just for the supporters watching from home, but to repay the tireless work undertaken by the club’s back room staff.

He added: “Everyone else has been doing all of the hard work up until now and we’ve just been running around on a pitch, so now it’s our time to pay back the back room staff, all of the coaches and all of the management for everything they’ve done over this tough period.

“We’ve got to go and repay it on the field.”