CJ and Ruan Sims set for Origin sister showdown
Controversy over State of Origin eligibility is set to spill over to the women's game, with Canecia Sims hoping to play for Queensland against her sister Ruan, the NSW captain.
Sims, known as CJ, is in the middle of five Gerringong-raised siblings who play rugby league at the elite level but, like brother Korbin, she qualifies for the Maroons as her first senior game was in Queensland.
The eligibility rules have ensured a split in the tight-knit Sims family, as Ruan is expected to again lead the Blues in the stand-alone women's fixture on June 22, while Tariq is widely tipped to be rewarded for his outstanding form for St George Illawarra by being named for his Origin debut with NSW.
However, Sims said she would be proud to play for Queensland after previously representing the state in American football before joining Ruan (Cronulla-Caringbah Sharks), Ashton (Toronto Wolfpack), Tariq (Dragons) and Korbin (Brisbane Broncos) in rugby league last season with Ipswich Brothers.
"I love where I was born and where I grew up, my parents [Jacqueline and Peter] still live down there and my brother [Tariq] and sister [Ruan] still live down there, but Queensland has been my home for six years and it has given me a lot of opportunities in sport," Sims said.
"I got to represent Queensland in American football, and then Australia, and now with league, to have a chance to be in the training squad for the inaugural State of Origin in June, I would be more than proud to put on a Maroons jersey."
While Korbin and Tariq were in the extended Queensland and NSW squads during the 2015 series, no siblings have played against each other in State of Origin.
"We joke about it a fair bit so it would be good to see if we can finally make it happen," she said. "If Korbin and Tariq don't do it, hopefully the girls do."
Having only switched to league after last year's Gridiron World Cup in Canada, CJ has never played with or against Ruan expect in backyard matches, which would usually pit either the two sisters against the boys or the oldest two, Ruan and Ashton, against the other three.
Like her siblings, CJ is renowned for her brutal defence and says she and Ruan will have no qualms putting a shot on each other.
"A lot of things run in our family and I think that is one thing all five us have," she said. "To play a full game against her would be great."
However, with the introduction of the NRL Holden Women's Premiership this season, there may be a chance for the sisters to play together.
While the Dragons would offer the opportunity to return home to play, CJ said she would be happy to play for any of the four clubs in the inaugural NRL women's competition.
"I would love to play with my sister, that would be amazing to play together," she said.
"Then again, I would love to play with my team-mates who I play week-in and week-out with and against here in Queensland so just to be able to experience playing for any NRL team would be the ultimate.
"I would be absolutely stoked just to be chosen by any of the four teams, whether it be the Warriors, Broncos, Dragons, or Roosters.
"I have got a lot of family who live in Sydney, I have got my brother who lives here [Brisbane], I have got friends and family, and mum and dad, who still live down the coast so I'd just be stoked to play anywhere."