By Jack Brady (NRL.com)
Dragons forward Tariq Sims says he holds no regrets from his 100-game career so far following his unceremonious exit from the Newcastle Knights in June.
One month has passed since Sims arrived back at St George Illawarra after spending his junior career playing for the Dragons' Harold Matthews and SG Ball outfits.
Sims's return to the Dragons has been a homecoming of sorts after he packed up his bags soon after Year 12 in 2007 to leave for the bright lights of Brisbane.
Sims worked 10- to 12-hour days at the now-defunct Geon Printing while maintaining a handy under-20s career at the Brisbane Broncos. His hard work paid off in 2010 when he was awarded NYC Player of the Year honours.
With his first grade journey already spanning six years with stints at the Cowboys, Knights and now Dragons, Sims believes time spent in Brisbane set him up for a long NRL career.
"Moving to Brisbane was a real shock to the system but it was a time which taught me great morals to live by and it opened me up to the real world," Sims told NRL.com.
"I dashed off up north before I really had a good crack [at the Dragons] but I don't regret my decision to leave. I've learnt a lot of lessons and met plenty of lifelong friends.
"I learnt from the best in Brisbane and had my opportunity further north. Wherever I've been I've never looked back and thought 'oh geez, I wish I didn't do that'.
"I've always done things that were right by me."
Life back on the south coast has Sims enjoying the simple things in life.
"Over the bye weekend, I took my two daughters to a play area which I used to go knock around in when I was a kid," Sims said.
"To do those things is very cool so I'm really enjoying being back."
Helping the 26-year-old's cause is the way the Dragons have welcomed him back into the fold.
After a mixed first half to the season, Sims is looking to finish the year on a high in an unfamiliar middle role as a reunion with former Cowboys coach Neil Henry beckons.
"Neil Henry coached me for the first three years of my career and he definitely knows how to break a team down so they're one team I'm looking forward to matching up against," Sims said of the Dragons' clash against the Titans on Friday night.
"It's a chance to really build into the finals for me. The boys have been very open and welcoming, in helping me adapt to the structures of the playbook we have in place here.
"It's no secret we definitely have a power game and my shift into the middle has been one of a learning curve but one I've enjoyed."