Newly appointed NSW Waratahs captain and former Queensland stalwart Rob Simmons loves the idea of being considered as much a blue as he was a red.
The 30-year-old Wallabies veteran is preparing to lead his side for the first time, when they face his old team in a Super Rugby trial on Friday.
Simmons takes over from openside flanker and Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper, who announced on Wednesday he was standing down after four years at the helm.
Lock Simmons will be one of four 2019 Wallabies World Cup squad members to get their first run of the season when the Waratahs venture across the border to Dalby.
Hooper, utility back and new vice-captain Kurtley Beale plus flanker Jack Dempsey will also feature in new coach Rob Penney's 28-strong squad for the final pre-season hit-out.
Simmons logged over 100 appearances for Queensland from 2008-2017, but wasn't required by coach Brad Thorn who opted to go with some younger locks.
He has enjoyed a new lease of life in his first two seasons with the Tahs adding another 18 Test caps to swell his tally to 100 at last year's World Cup.
"I had few of my own issues going on back north and I think it (the move to NSW) gave me a chance to step back and try and move forward from it," Simmons said.
"Hopefully this role is something else I can see myself grow and get better."
Hooper praised Simmons for immersing himself in the Waratahs culture.
"People now probably see him as blue as much as they did see him as red back in the day," Hooper said.
That notion sits comfortably with Simmons.
"I love that part, I think it's awesome," he said.
"I moved my family down here, my son was born here and I've got another one on the way.
"They will both be born here in Sydney, so my commitment to this group is full."
Meanwhile, exciting teenage back Mark Nawaqanitawase, who excelled at fullback against the Highlanders last week has been moved to wing to accommodate Beale at fullback.
Beale anticipates he will be primarily used at fullback this season but said he could also play at five-eighth where Junior Wallaby Will Harrison starts against the Reds.
Waratahs starting XV: Kurtley Beale, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Lalakai Foketi, Karmichael Hunt, Alex Newsome, Will Harrison, Jake Gordon, Jed Holloway, Michael Hooper, Jack Dempsey, Rob Simmons (capt), Tom Staniforth, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Robbie Abel, Tom Robertson.
Australian Associated Press