Korbin Sims is a step closer to Maroons selection after a weekend with the QAS Emerging Origin squad. Credit: NRL Photos Copyright: NRL Photos
They were teammates in the backyard in Gerringong but Korbin Sims says he and brother Tariq are prepared to face off against each other in the State of Origin arena should they both reach such heights.
With Tariq close to selection for the Blues in recent seasons, Korbin's inclusion in the Queensland Academy of Sport Emerging Origin squad that assembled in Brisbane over the weekend raises the very real prospect of two brothers playing against each other in the game's toughest arena.
Should it come to fruition it will serve as yet another controversial chapter in Origin selection history and Korbin conceded that his choice to align with the Maroons has caused friction with older brothers Tariq and Ashton.
"We've had our discussions over the years. This has happened a long time ago and we've had a lot of time to get our heads around it," Korbin told NRL.com while in camp.
"My brothers aren't too pleased with it but they support me in whatever I do and it's exactly the same with my parents. They've supported me since I made my decision to play for Queensland and they still support me to this day.
"I'm proud to say that I'm playing for Queensland and I'm never going to go back on my word.
"If we're both playing the best football we can and we're making rep sides then [playing against Tariq] is definitely a possibility. If that happens I'm tipping both of us will love to be up for the challenge."
Sims' selection in the Emerging Origin squad was labelled a "farce" by former Blues captain Ben Elias in December but the former Queensland under-16s and under-18s representative insists his desire to represent Queensland is heartfelt.
"I had an opportunity to play my senior football up in Queensland and I took it. I had an opportunity to play my first representative football for Queensland and I took it and ever since those decisions were made I've thought, Yeah, I want to play for Queensland," he said.
"I love this state, I love the energy and the enthusiasm that Queenslanders bring to their everyday life and that's what I want to work towards and put into my football in representing Queensland."
The irony that the New South Wales-aligned Sims boys, Ashton and Tariq, play for North Queensland in the NRL while Korbin is contracted to the Newcastle Knights only serves to add further intrigue to the situation the three brothers find themselves in.
When all three were signed by the Broncos in 2008 Korbin linked with Brisbane club Wests before playing under-20s for the Broncos in 2010 and admitted that he has been pressured in the past to change allegiances back to NSW.
"After I made my decision then that was it, that was my decision made and they couldn't take it away from me, as much as they tried," the 22-year-old said.
"I've had every abuse under the sun about me playing for Queensland and me going back on the state where I was born.
"Being around the likes of Benny Barba, Jake Friend, just to name a couple, it makes you think, Wow, I'm a part of this squad and we're getting ever closer to trying to crack into that State of Origin squad."