Simmons is spy in Oz camp

Royce Simmons
Royce Simmons

AUSTRALIA’S coach Tim Sheens has revealed his turned to Saints coach Royce Simmons for inside information on England.

The Kangeroos are clear favourite to clinch the Gillette Four Nations title after brushing aside New Zealand 26-12 on Friday night.

But Sheens is taking no chances and has asked his former right-hand man Simmons to guide through the latest in the English game.

“Royce and I have been in touch all year,” Sheens said. “We talked about what was happening back home and what was happening here.

“Warrington is an unfamiliar ground to us, so it was important to know what the facilities are like, and he has given us an insight as to what we will find which will prove helpful.

“He gave me a bit of a heads up on the referee (Warrington’s Phil Bentham) that we had in the first match back in Australia, and he’ll be here for the final week, as will Peter Gentle, who is joining Hull.

“We were also here in 2009, so we’ve a pretty fair idea of what to expect.”

Meanwhile, England coach Steve McNamara paid the ultimate tribute to James Roby, by including no other specialist hooker in the national squad.

“James has got the capability of playing 80 minutes and playing consistently well over that period,” McNamara said.

“We have other options if James needs a rest in Kevin, who has been very competent in that position for England in the past.”