David Simmons is not like most NRL wingers, though he is 186cm and 95kg he is by no means the fastest or the most athletic. He represents the quintessential rugby league player—a hard worker who earned his position in first grade.
But David knows there is more to life than just a playing career. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Theology from Moore College in Sydney and aims to be a Chaplain when he finishes playing NRL.
Current NRL Player
David is currently a winger for the Penrith Panthers. After suffering a huge concussion a few years ago early in the 2012 season, he turned it around with his confidence and became the leading try scorer in the NRL for 2013—while playing for a team that finished 12th.
David does not fit the stereotype of what most people think an NRL player is like: tattoos, expensive cars, large salary and an inflated ego. David is the complete opposite: a family man, devout Christian and has helped counsel team mates during tough times.
One such occasion happened back in the 2013 season when one of his teammates, James Segeyaro, was shocked and in grief. A friend and teammate at James's old club, the North Queensland Cowboys, had died suddenly.
Unsure whether to play after hearing the news a couple of hours before a game against Penrith's arch-rival Parramatta, James went to David for some prayer. James ended up participating in the game and scored a couple of tries in memory of his mate to help Penrith to a win.
David prays before and after a game, not just after the wins, but the losses as well. He shows what it means to be a Christian during both the easy and difficult times in life. A real relationship with Jesus is not just about going from win to win, but in the full breadth of life—including adversity and trials.
A verse that shows this is 2 Timothy chapter 4, verses 7–8:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Final Season—big milestone
David is currently in his final year at Penrith and had a stellar game a few weeks ago where he scored four tries and kicked a goal! In scoring his fourth try he joined an exclusive list of NRL players with 100+ career tries. Not a bad strike rate when he has played around 200 games.
It is great to see David playing well and living for God in the NRL. Here's to him finishing the race strongly in his final season, and continuing to run the race of the Christian life.
Christopher Archibald lives in Sydney and is a Youth Leader at New Life Christian Church in Blacktown. A voracious reader, he ploughs through many books in a calendar year, with a bookcase that is constantly being rearranged to accommodate new additions.
Christopher Archibald's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/christopher-archibald.html