Better known as an edge back-rower, Tariq Sims is set to take on a new starting role for the Toyota Cowboys against the NZ Warriors at 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday night.
The two-time NSW Country Origin representative will wear the North Queensland No.13 jersey for the first time and play in a more central position than the one he usually occupied over the past three seasons.
It will end a run of 10 straight matches as an interchange forward for Sims, dating back to round 17 in 2013.
Prior to then, the 24-year-old started 12 consecutive games in the No.11 jersey.
He replaces Glenn Hall at lock, while Joel Riethmuller, who started in the No.13 in round one, will play for the Northern Pride against the PNG Hunters in the Intrust Super Cup.
“I think Tariq can be really good for us in the middle and really tighten us up,” coach Paul Green said today.
“I thought his defensive work’s been good and he’s certainly worrying teams when he’s carrying the footy.
“He runs a great line and he’s got good footwork as well so that can certainly help us carrying the ball through the middle this week.”
Sims played 42 minutes off the bench against Brisbane on Friday night and ran for 127 metres – the third highest figure by any Cowboy and more than any Broncos forward.
Meanwhile, Green said he didn’t expect the Cowboys’ memorable win against the Warriors in the NRL Auckland Nines semi-final last month would have any influence on anything that may happen on Saturday night.
“The Nines have been forgotten about by now,” he said.
“We’re into the regular season and winning the Nines didn’t put us on two points ahead of everyone else before the comp started.
“We’re into the week-in, week-out grind of the NRL now.”