Never tell True Blue Tariq Sims that his career as a NRL or State of Origin player could be fading.
Granted he turns 33 in February and is about to enter his 13th NRL season with a fourth club.
But moving 900km away from his beloved Illawarra coast to the Melbourne Storm has reinvigorated Sims’ 221-NRL game journey.
“I’ve never experienced anything like it, all the coaches are dialled in with what the team needs and what they want to see in each player,” Sims told nswrl.com.au.
“They understand each individual very well and set up drills which are game-related – scenarios that happen in games.
“It’s a good vibe, a healthy and competitive vibe around the place.
“Everyone is trying to make each other better. It means there is a great bunch of blokes who are very hungry.”
Coach Craig Bellamy has a habit of re-booting careers – think Bryan Norrie from the Sharks and Jaiman Lowe from the Rabbitohs, who both went onto win a premiership with the Storm in 2012.
There was also Brenko Lee, who had been at three clubs before arriving in Melbourne and becoming part of the 2020 premiership-winning team.
“I’ve not spoken a lot to Craig yet, but I just want to contribute, play to my strengths, and become adaptable,” Sims said.
“I want to play wherever he needs me, whether it’s on the edge or in the middle.
“I like learning how the Storm does Rugby League because I want to play quality football and not just fill out a jersey.”
And he will never give up on wearing the NSW Blues jersey again. He has played six games across four series – 2018, ’19, ’21 and ’22.
“If anyone knows me knows I’m pretty useless in giving up on things,” Sims said.
“I’m a very determined individual and I believe in setting my sights very high.
“Origin is the pinnacle so I want to keep testing myself, pushing myself towards that. If I get there, I get there.
“It will always be a driving force while I’ve got two feet on the ground.”