Korbin Sims has officially signed with the Brisbane Broncos, but former housemate Andrew McCullough says he will have to fight hard to push past a hungry group of young forwards and earn his place in the 17 for Round 1.
On a day of major player signing announcements that also saw Brisbane half Ben Hunt confirmed to be a Dragon for five years from 2018, the addition of Sims adds much-needed NRL experience to a Broncos middle that was looking decidedly light on.
Sims was last week released by the Knights so that he could sign a longer-term deal with the Broncos, taking a significant pay cut in order to reunite with the club where he made his under-20s debut in 2010 before moving on to Newcastle.
The Broncos were desperate to shore up their front-row stocks prior to the 2017 season kicking off and formalised the deal on Monday with a player who has made 76 top grade appearances in the past four seasons and who has been a regular in Queensland Emerging Origin camps in recent years.
When older brother Ashton signed to play with the Broncos in 2008 Tariq and Korbin both followed him to Brisbane, Korbin forging such a strong connection to Queensland that he declared his Origin allegiance to the Maroons despite being born and growing up in Gerringong on the New South Wales south coast.
The Broncos have a young crop of forwards ready to stake their claim for a regular spot in the NRL squad, and McCullough said Sims will have to push past the likes of Joe Ofahengaue, Herman Ese'ese, George Fai, Aaron Rockley, Keegan Hipgrave and Francis Molo to line up for his first game for the club in Round 1.
"I know Korbin reasonably well and he's come here with an opportunity so he has to start from the bottom at this club and train hard," McCullough said.
"Obviously Wayne (Bennett, Broncos coach) has got a bit of a plan of where he's trialling or how much training he is going to get with us before the season starts.
"We've got some good depth and some good young forwards at the moment so for Korbin that's going to be a test just to get into the team.
"It's up to Korbin now to come with the right attitude and find out where he slots into the team and we'll go from there."
Back-rower Alex Glenn also welcomed the prospect of 25-year-old Sims bolstering Brisbane's forward stocks for the 2017 season.
"Korbin is a tough player. He just gets out there and does his job," Glenn said.
"There's nothing fancy, he's one of those hard yakka type of players that just gets in and goes hard.
"He's definitely going to benefit our team."