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Knights back-rower Tariq Sims in Round 12.

The St George Illawarra Dragons have announced Tariq Sims will join the club effective immediately after being released by the Newcastle Knights.

The local Gerringong Lions junior had previously agreed to a three-year contract which would have seen him join the club next season.

"It is welcoming news to have a local junior such as Tariq join the Club earlier than what had originally been expected," Dragons director of rugby league pathways Ian Millward said.

"Tariq is a natural leader having most recently been co-captain of the Newcastle Knights and we know that he will be a good fit for our club."

Sims will join the Dragons later this week.