HE'S had the honour of pulling on the sky blue jersey on two occasions previously and now Tariq Sims is firmly in the mix to return to the State of Origin cauldron in 2021.
With Brad Fittler's squad being down on specialist back-rowers, with the suspensions of Victor Radley, Angus Crichton and unavailability of Boyd Cordner through injury, Sims is well and truly in the mix for Origin one in Melbourne on June 9.
But Tariq Sims is adamant his main focus is helping the Dragons end their two-game losing streak on Friday - not a third sky blue jersey.
"It would obviously be nice to be named in the Blues squad but my main priority at the moment is playing strong footy for the Dragons," the 31-year-old said.
"Don't get me wrong, it would be great to get the call-up and I wouldn't let anyone down if I did but all I'm worried about is the Wests Tigers right now.
"It's important I'm doing my job, especially as I'm still dirty on myself for getting that one-week suspension.
"I'm looking forward to trying to make amends and repaying the boys' faith - I go out to win every game and this week is no different."
Although he's missed time in previous seasons due to suspension, last week's game marked the first the Gerringong junior had missed in 2021.
"I'm excited to get back out there, as I spent the week off pretty much just training and working on my conditioning," he said.
"I had the pay the price for missing the game through suspension but the club was really proactive in training me and replicating a game as best they could because the intensity of today's game has gone through the roof.
"I'm a big believer of training at the same intensity as I play and I'm really happy with the work I've put in, including fine-tuning my skills, to prepare myself for the Tigers."
In the same breath, the Kiama High School alumnus doesn't intend to change his aggressive style of play, despite the recent crackdown on high shots by the NRL.
"A couple of years ago when the rules started to come in on dangerous tackles and late hits, a lot of us players had to alter our styles a little," he said.
"You've never been allowed to attack the head or play 'foul play' football.
"It just so happens that the past few weeks, they've decided to sin-bin and send guys off for those actions - they're taking a no-nonsense approach to the game.
"As far as me toeing that line, I'm still going to play that hard brand of football, while also making sure I'm clean - especially under fatigued.
"At the end of the day, you've got to be as straight as an arrow out there because they're not being lenient on those calls anymore."
On the field, the Dragons have lost five of their past six matches, seeing them drop to seventh on the ladder.
And with them being one of four teams on 10 points after 11 rounds, Sims knows how important a win is this Friday at Bankwest Stadium.
"To lose in the fashion we did last week hurts a lot," he said.
"But we've put that in the rear vision mirror and had a really physical and tough week at training.
"It's no secret we've got a lot of injuries and suspensions at the moment but the blokes who have been put in each position have come out firing this week on the training grounds.
"We know what we need to do [on Friday] against an equally desperate side in the Tigers, which will no doubt lead to a really tough game of footy."
This week also marks the NRL's annual Indigenous Round, in which the Dragons will wear jersey designed by Johnny Robinson.
"It's also special to be involved in this weekend," Sims said.
"It's no secret, our club's produced some of the finest Indigenous athletes that the NRL has ever seen.
"So to get the chance to represent their people is an unbelievable honour and our jerseys look awesome.
"It's really important we hold this round each year and pay that little bit of respect to their people - I know all the boys want to do the jersey proud come Friday night."
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