Tariq Sims has welcomed brother Korbin ‘home’ by issuing a challenge.
The Dragons forward was one of the great success stories of 2018, breaking into the winning NSW State of Origin team and steamrolling Korbin’s former club Brisbane with three tries in the 48-18 elimination final win.
But now reunited in Wollongong, close to their family home in Gerringong, Sims had warned Korbin will have to earn his place in the team, alongside the representative players like Paul Vaughan, Jack de Belin and Tyson Frizell.
“Korbin’s focus should be 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 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 might have to sit on the pine for a while.”
While Korbin’s signing boosts the already impressive forward stocks, Tariq said he hoped the Dragons could secure another wing or centre before next year’s campaign begins.
Nene Macdonald left to join the Cowboys, while Jason Nightingale retired and NRL prospect Reuben Garrick moved to Manly and Patrick Herbert released.
It leaves 2018 debutant Jordan Pereira and utility Kurt Mann, who has been linked to Newcastle, are among the leading candidates to play on the wing, or shifting Zac Lomax or Euan Aitken from the centres.
Junior Kiwis representative Steven Marsters or Fijian signing Mikaele Ravalawa are also in the squad but untested at NRL level.
“One or two (new signings) would be nice,” Tariq said.
“I think the club is in a really great spot, we’ve got a big opportunity to improve on last year.” In a remarkable family situation, Korbin is eligible to play for Queensland, while Tariq made his debut for NSW this year.
Older brother Ashton played for Fiji and sister Ruan is a NSW and Jillaroos representative.
Tariq said he was yet to discuss the finals win over the Broncos with Korbin.
“We haven’t really talked about it,” he said.
“I guess if he gets chirpy I might keep it in the back pocket.”
The Dragons, without Gareth Widdop, were knocked out by Souths 13-12 in the semi-finals.