Newcastle Knights' new recruit Tariq Sims is excited about his move to Newcastle and says there was plenty that motivated him to join the red and blue.
The powering forward says a move from the North Queensland Cowboys to the Knights was always appealing, but the major draw card was the opportunity to play alongside his younger brother, Korbin.
Tariq played alongside the eldest of the Sims brothers Ashton at the Cowboys but with him moving to the English premier league, he was eager to reunite with his younger sibling.
“A big attraction was my brother and playing with Korbin knowing that Ashton was going overseas,” Sims told the media at a press conference on Monday.
The only time the pair have played alongside each other has been in a handful of Under 20s games and while representing the Fijian side.
“I’m really looing forward to seeing how he goes through the preseason,” he added.
“I loved the rivalry between me and Ashton and that we slogged it out together, so I’m very excited to start with Korbin and see how he ticks.
Tariq said Rick Stone's appointment as head coach cemented his decision to move to Newcastle.
“Seeing Stoney get the head job was a massive green light for me,” he said.
Tariq had a taste of Stone’s coaching style through his representation in the Fijian side.
“I like the way he coaches. He likes to have a laugh but he also knows when it’s time to play,” Sims added.
“It’s great to separate the two, and to learn under his coaching staff, I’m very excited."
Sims has played more than 70 games for the Cowboys since his NRL debut in 2011, represented Country against City, played for Fiji and was selected as an Emerging Blue. His preferred position is in the back row, but says he’s willing to fit where he’s needed to work.
Sims' introduction to the Club started with the traditional beep test.
“It was good to blow the cobwebs out, it’s been a pretty good offseason for me,” Sims said.
“I’m really looking forward to it and it’s great to be back in training with the boys. I’ll hopefully put in a good strong pre-season."
From first impressions, the 2015 season as a Knight is already looking positive for Sims with the 24-year-old impressed with the squad’s mix of experience and emerging talent.
“From the looks of things they have a great talent pool down here and noticed there’s a few Under 20s players who I watched last year," he asid.
"I’m really excited to see how they go and with Stoney’s coaching staff they will continue to blossom."
Sims carries a four-week suspension from last season but assures he’ll be raring to go in Round 4.
“It’s just something that I have to deal with, but I’m going to approach it as professionally as I can," he admits.
Sims says he’ll bring his usual brand of tough and high intensity to his games in 2015 in the red and blue, bit for now his focus is set on making the most of the pre-season, preparing himself for an explosive debut with the Knights.