NSW-born Korbin Sims has right Queenslander spirit, says Mal
KORBIN Sims plays the game with a truckload of passion.
But it was a game he didn't play in 2012 which made Maroons coach Mal Meninga sit up and notice his Origin potential.
Three years ago Sims was picked to play for Queensland in an under-20s Origin match in Penrith, but he was ruled out with a broken finger.
The star Knights prop was not going to miss the game though, driving down from Newcastle just so he could cheer on his teammates.
It's that type of attitude Meninga is looking for, with Sims being considered as a potential bench forward for Origin I, in Sydney on May 27.
"I remember when he was ruled unfit for an under-20s state game for Queensland - he was bitterly disappointed," Meninga said.
"But he still turned up at his own cost. He's the type of player that every club wants, and certainly what an Origin team needs.
"He brings passion when he's playing at the Knights, passion when he's playing for Fiji, and I know he'd be passionate about playing for Queensland."
There was no way Sims was going to miss cheering on his teammates on that night back in 2012.
"I think it (the under-20s Origin game) was played in Penrith. It's only a stone's throw away from Newcastle," Sims told APN, after starring for Fiji in his team's 22-10 win over Papua New Guinea on the weekend.
"So if I can come and show my support to any Queensland team that plays - I love being a part of it.
"That's just the kind of person I want to be."
If Sims keeps showing that kind of leadership on and off the field, there's no reason why he can't be a part of the Maroons' strong culture for many years to come.
That is the opinion of his Fiji and Knights coach Rick Stone.
"He's a real leader for his age, Korbs - he just turned 23. He's got a good level head on his shoulders," Stone said.
"I don't think he's far away (from Origin).
"He's an impressive young man."
Sims was born in the New South Wales town of Gerringong, along with older brothers Ashton and Tariq, who have pledged their allegiances to the Blues.
But ever since he played his first senior football in Queensland, Sims was hooked on chasing a Maroon jersey.
"It's a culture I want to be a part of for the rest of my life," he said.