Sims happy to provide bench impact

St George Illawarra back-rower Tariq Sims insists he's happy to play an impact role coming off the bench for the Dragons if it means the side continues their winning ways.

After 18 months at the Knights in a dominant leadership role, Sims has only been able to make the starting 13 in Paul McGregor's side once since joining the Red V midway through last season.

The emergence of Paul Vaughan up front and the dominant back-row of Tyson Frizell and Joel Thompson leaves the 27-year-old in unfamiliar territory for the first time since the 2013 season.

Such is the strong start of the Dragons, Sims is comfortable with the role he is providing off the bench for the Red V, a position he arguably burst onto the scene in his early days with the North Queensland Cowboys.

"I'm enjoying my role with Leeson Ah Mau coming off the bench," Sims told

"We focus on injecting ourselves into the game and making sure we're lifting from the platform that [Paul] Vaughan and [Russell] Packer are laying and taking it to the next level.

"Vaughny and Russ [Packer] have been great for us leading up front and everyone might be surprised by it but coming off the back of the pre-season they've had, the rewards are already showing early.

"Vaughny has got the knack of getting the four-pointers here and there too the big fella."

It was the first time in three years that Sims got through the first four rounds of the Telstra Premiership after missing the opening month in 2015 and 2016 at the Knights due to shoulder-charge suspensions.

"It's weird, I'm not going to lie," Sims joked.

"Usually I'm still getting flogged for another six weeks of pre-season.

"There's a lot of hard work that goes into what we do and we spend 16 weeks working on what we've been doing so it sort of becomes muscle memory once we fall into that fatigue zone.

"There's still a lot of improvement to go which is always great and every forward pack will always strive to be better.

"Everyone is starting to click and do their role for the team.

"I'm proud of the boys of how we've been handling ourselves at training."

Away from the field and Sims has started up a new website with wife Ashleigh since moving closer to his hometown of Gerringong in a bid to share travel experience and attraction ideas on offer for other families down South.

"The family is settled now," he said.

"My wife and I have started our own blog called team Sims with our two children and we try to check out the secret spots on the South Coast here and expose to the world.

"It's been unreal to take my family to some areas where when I was a kid I used to play at certain playgrounds that I can take my two girls now so it's nice." 

Meanwhile, the early season form of front-rower Vaughan has not gone unnoticed by Blues coach Laurie Daley, particularly with the loss of skipper Paul Gallen to retirement leaving a void in the line-up.

"He's a big fella with good leg speed so hopefully he can continue that form," Daley said at the State of Origin launch in Sydney on Monday.

"He's a guy that's played some rep football over the years with the Country Origin team so it looks as though the change to the Dragons has done him the world of good."