Move over Ashton, Tariq and Korbin, there is another Sims playing Rugby League and she is about to do what none of her younger siblings have done before, play Rugby League for Australia.
Ruan Sims has earned selection for the Jillaroos Women’s Rugby League squad and is preparing to head to the United Kingdom in July to take on the Kiwis at the 2013 Festival of World Cups.
The 30-year-old says the experience is sure to be the highlight of her Rugby League career.
“I got selected for State of Origin last year and on the back of that I got selected to play for the All Stars this year to play at Suncorp Stadium which was a fantastic experience,” Sims told NRL.com.
“It will definitely be the biggest thing I’ve done in my Rugby League career and it will be an excellent time to go over there and hopefully bring home the Silverware.”
An accomplished athlete, Sims has played in Rugby World Cups, has a Sevens title and is an elite level surfboat rower who also works for Fire and Rescue NSW.
While Rugby League has traditionally been seen as a male dominated sport, Sims believes times are changing.
“If you’re an athlete and you want to play a sport, you watch the best because you want to be like them,” she said.
“Regardless of the fact that I am a girl, I always try and be the best I can be in the sport.
“Trying to get some recognition for that has been a hard road.”
Sims joins her brother Ashton as the only other sibling to play on the international stage following his four appearances for Fiji in the 2008 World Cup.
She says the love of Rugby League runs thick through the family with her mother Jackie even playing in her younger years.
“All of us played it,” she said.
“My mother gave me my first black eye so that was a pretty good introduction to the sport.
“My parents saw it as a way for us to get to know how your body is when you’re younger… you know you can take a knock and you can get up and you can go again.”
As Rugby League celebrates the contributions of women right across the game during the annual Harvey Norman Women in League round, Sims acknowledges there are a lot of women involved in the game that deserve accolades.
“It’s not just geared at the mothers, the wives, the girlfriends and the aunties and the Grandmothers who are involved behind the scenes – it’s also for the women who are trying to forge their way forward and make a name for themselves in the sport,” she said.