He gets it, but go-to lock Rob Simmons is not a fan of the Wallabies' second-row rotation.

With five locks - including three international rookies - in his squad for the three-test series with France, Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has made no secret of his intention to shuffle the deck chairs.

McKenzie is keen to provide his greenhorns with test-match experience ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup.

Tellingly, though, Simmons is the only lock to have earned starting status for all three matches against Les Bleus and hasn't missed a test since the Wallabies' last loss seven months ago to England.


Even World Cup captain James Horwill, who led McKenzie's Queensland Reds to the 2011 Super Rugby title, has had to make way for uncapped behemoth Will Skelton for tomorrow's series finale in Sydney.

"It's good to have that competition and it's healthy for the squad. It keeps us on our toes," Simmons said.

"It makes sure everyone's achieving their best footy."

But after fighting his way back from being dropped in 2012, Simmons has started in every match of the Wallabies' six-test winning streak and is desperate to not to give up his gold jumper.

"No one wants to sit out a test match," he said. "You're representing your country - and I'm sure you've heard the cliche - you never know when your next one's going to be and you always hear so many people say no one knew their last test match was their last.

"So when you're on the field, you don't want to give up your jumper.

"I know it's best for the team and people are mature enough - they're not little sooks - but it hurts originally. But it does create good competition and the exciting thing about that is within that competition people are going to improve."

Simmons, now a 39-test mainstay, credits his 2012 axing for his steely determination to hold down his starting spot. "Until you get dropped, you don't realise. It's certainly helped in my preparation since," he said.


"I didn't really see it coming. I didn't realise the real little things that I wasn't doing. I was probably being too nice to myself in my own reviews."

Not so anymore, with 25-year-old Simmons relishing his leadership role and judging his contributions more harshly. "The first test [against France] we had 100 per cent lineout success and that's my sort of baby. I like to control that area," he said.

"Last week wasn't as good. We lost one and it was pretty scrappy with some of the others we did win also.

"So I want to improve in that area."