NSW Country prop Tariq Sims says it was rather competitive growing up alongside three siblings who’d also go on to become rugby league internationals.
Ashton, 29, and younger brother Corbin, 22, both joined 24-year-old Tariq in representing Fiji at last year’s World Cup in Great Britain, while his sister Ruan, 30, has gone one better.
She’s a dual international, having worn the green and gold at league and union World Cups and also won a World Sevens title.
“It was tough to get a spud in our house,” Tariq told AAP ahead of his third appearance for Country on Sunday in the representative clash with NSW City in Dubbo.
“We’ve all got the competitive streak, so I think that’s what makes us tick.
“Plus there’s some pretty good genes there with mum being Fijian and dad being Aussie.”
While Sims’ father Peter mostly surfed and fished, his mother Jacqui “was the sporty one”, excelling at anything she turned her hand to, including netball, volleyball, basketball and rowing.
Jacqui also had a rule of no TV in the family home in Gerringong on the NSW south coast when her children were growing up.
“They never forced us to do any sport we didn’t want to, but they were always very supportive,” Tariq said.
“Mum was always driving us around and dad was always there at the games, which was awesome for us to see because a lot of parents can’t make it because of work or what-not.
“We’re a very tight-knit family.”
Tariq suffered two broken legs before making his rep debut for Country in 2012 and says his family helped him through those rough times too.
“There’s been a lot of setbacks,” he said. “But for all of us.
“My sister’s had a couple of injuries, Ashton’s had a couple of injuries, I’ve had some and Corbin’s had some, so there’s always those family members pushing to help you get back.
“During all the rehab, they’re texting you, letting you know that if you ever need a chat that they’re there for you.
“They’re there for the lows and the highs of the game.
“They were there for the debuts and when my sister was playing the sevens and they won the comp, we were all there.”
Sims’ mother, father, partner and daughter will be in Dubbo on Sunday too when he pushes his case to be the first of the three brothers to gain State of Origin selection.
The North Queensland Cowboy is hoping his versatility will help.
“This weekend I’ve been handed an opportunity to play front row,” he said.
“It’s obviously a position I haven’t played at this level before and one that I’m definitely keen to adopt and help put it in my repertoire of lock and second row.”