From hearing Korbin Sims speak about his Fijian heritage, it is easy to tell just how passionate he is about representing the nation.
The new Hull KR recruit played for Fiji in the 2013 World Cup that was hosted in England alongside his brothers Ashton and Tariq, and he has since gone on to make nine appearances for the Fiji Bati.
Sims was born and raised in Australia but is of Fijian family heritage, and he has so much pride every time he gets to pull the Fiji jersey on.
“My mother was born in Fiji and migrated to Australia quite young,” Sims said. “Once I got the opportunity to pull on a Fijian jersey and wear the sky blue of the Fijian flag, there’s pride that you can’t describe but there’s obviously another side of it where we play for our country.
“You really have to buy into the culture because it is so infectious. The Fijian culture is so infectious, so happy.
“We (the players) obviously stay together for an extended period of time and we really get to know each other.
“Its called prayer but we call it devotion so we have devotion at morning, lunch and dinner. We sing prayers and get to know each other really well and that’s what bonds us as a family and when you do listen to people from the outside when they hear us get around on the team bus before or after training when we have a little hymn, it really feeds into your soul.
“We want to bring our joy to people outside our little Fijian family because our culture is so infectious, you can’t help but stand there and smile.
“I remember my first camp when I was younger, I didn’t know any of the songs and I just stood there and smiled and was like ‘oh wow, this is awesome, I want to be a part of this’. These boys are just so close knit and we have a good time, we get our work done on the field and then go home as a family.”
Hull will be the training base for Fiji at the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, with Fiji facing Australia at Hull’s KCOM Stadium on the opening day of the tournament.
Hull will also host one of the quarter-finals – and Sims is excited for the World Cup.
“I’m really looking forward to that,” Sims said.
“Fiji are going to be based in Hull and training at Craven Park so I’m really looking forward to spending my time over here throughout 2021 and then making good relationships with places off the field around Hull but it all just depends on how the Covid situation goes at the moment.
“Having Fiji stay in Hull and training at Craven Park, I’m sure the fans are really going to get behind us.”
Listen to The Final Hooter podcast, featuring exclusive interviews, every week. SUBSCRIBE to Love Rugby League on Apple Podcasts.