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Sims signs three-year deal with Dragons

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 30/05/2016 Brett Keeble

Newcastle coach Nathan Brown has refused to rule out the possibility of Country Origin forward Tariq Sims joining St George Illawarra before the June 30 transfer deadline.

The 26-year-old Knights co-captain and former North Queensland Cowboys enforcer has signed a three-year deal with the Dragons, reportedly worth $1.2million.

The Dragons and Knights issued statements shortly after full-time in Newcastle's 20-18 loss to Parramatta at Hunter Stadium on Monday night confirming speculation that Sims would join the Red V at the end of the 2016 season.

"Tariq had an option to extend his current contract for a further season into 2017 but opted to secure his future with a longer-term deal elsewhere," Knights chief executive Matt Gidley said in a statement.

The Knights are still weighing up their options regarding Sims for this season, and it is understood they would consider granting him an early release provided they receive some benefit.

"At this stage, all I'd say is that Taz is here. That's probably the best way to put it," Brown said.

Sims played 80 minutes against the Eels, running 12 times for 109 metres and making 34 tackles in what Brown described as his best performance since the coach took the reins at Newcastle.

"People probably need to understand that Tariq didn't come in and demand a pay rise. The market forces determined that Tariq deserved to get paid what he got paid," Brown said.

"As the head coach of the club, and with Moons (Knights football general manager Darren Mooney), we made a decision that we didn't want to go to those levels at this stage."

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