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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Re-united Sims' happy to step on each other's toes

It was an early morning swim in Wollongong last week that convinced St George Illawarra forward Tariq Sims how much he was looking forward to playing alongside brother Korbin next season.
"It was just as the sun was coming up and I thought, 'we haven't done this since we were teenagers'," Sims said.
"It was one of those moments that made you think about the times when we used to go for early morning surfs before school. I just thought 'wow, it has been so long since we have done something like this', so it was nice."
Growing up in Gerringong and playing juniors for the Illawarra Steelers, it seemed inevitable that Tariq and Korbin would advance through the ranks to St George Illawarra's NRL team.
Korbin was a ball boy for the Dragons at the age of 13, when elder brother Ashton played for the club and coach Paul McGregor was a trainer.
However, it has been a decade since he trained at WIN Stadium and the 26-year-old has never pulled on a Red V jersey.
"I've got a lot of fond memories of this place, I used to watch Ashton play here as well and now I've got a chance to wear the same jersey as my two brothers," Korbin said.
"I always thought I was going to be up in Brisbane for a while but obviously that didn't work out and I have got an opportunity here now that hopefully I will be able to do the club and the fans of the Red V proud, and do my family proud as well."
With the Dragons enjoying a successful 2018 season in which they led the Telstra Premiership until round 16 and had four forwards in the victorious NSW Origin team, Korbin said his decision to join the club was for football reasons but his family connection made it an easy choice.
"It was a business decision and it has made it easier coming to a club like this, where they had a great season this year and obviously my mates and family are still here so it was an easy decision in the end," he said.
"It's been good so far, being back near the beach and with mum and dad only half-an-hour down the road so it has been an easy transition."
While Tariq knew that Korbin was in the Dragons sights after being quizzed by McGregor about his brother, the 28-year-old Blues second- rower only learned that he had signed when told by the club that they were going to make an announcement.
They had previously played together for Brisbane, Newcastle and Fiji but there was no love lost when Tariq ironed out Korbin in last season's elimination final and the competitiveness between the brothers is expected to be a feature at Dragons training.
"I am sure if you hang around training you will see some brotherly love but it is just one of those things where we push each other's buttons," Tariq said.
"We like the same things and we dislike similar things so it is only a matter of time before we step on each other's toes.
"What brings the best out in people is someone who is going to push you in every training session. That is what I am going to do and that is what he will do as well."
Korbin is an ideal replacement for New Zealand forward Leeson Ah Mau, who has returned home to join the Warriors but Tariq warned he would have to fight for a position in a forward pack brimming with talent and experience.
"Korbin's focus should be just fighting for a bench spot and focusing on what he can bring to the team," he said. 
"I know what he can bring to the team, but it's up to him to show Mary what he can bring to the team and add to our strike power.
"Korbin is a really great defender and I'm pretty excited to see him and Jack de Belin standing next to each other and cut someone in half.
"He needs to earn his stripes before he can push for a starting role, he has got to bide his time and he might have to sit on the pine for a little bit but I know how competitive he is so he will be pushing for a starting spot for sure."