The Melbourne Storm have confirmed the departure of Tariq Sims, with the veteran forward finding a new home in the south of France.

Sims will close out his rugby league career in the English Super League playing for the Catalans Dragons after failing to have his contract extended by the Storm.

The veteran forward, who has played 236 NRL games, has been heavily in the news in recent weeks, with reports suggesting the Storm were at one stage looking for a way to squeeze him into their salary cap for 2024.

It hasn't happened though after a frustrating year in Melbourne for Sims which has been heavily hampered by injury after he was signed from the St George Illawarra Dragons as an experienced replacement for the losses Melbourne had ahead of 2023 in the forwards.

Sims will finish his career at a different Dragons though after signing a two-year deal with Catalans.

“It's been sort of an emotional last two months for me sorting this out and you know it's time for me to not only leave the Storm but retire from the NRL,” Sims said in a statement released by the Storm.

“It [time at Storm] was everything I hoped for and more, unfortunately, it was only a year but to be quite honest it was probably one of the most enjoyable years of my career, just the comradery that everyone has here, the connection the club has not only with the players but with the front office, sponsors and everyone involved with the club.

"Being part of this club means so much to me personally and I know I've only been here for 12 months, but it feels like I've been here for a lot longer than that. I absolutely adore the club and the fans and wish them nothing but success in the future.

“It's been a really long career, one that I'm very proud of, one that I hope I've helped not only other footy players along the way but general public. I've always appreciated the fans for their support and their criticism but mostly their support, but it's been a great journey.

"It's been a wild ride – I've seen a lot, I've experienced a lot … I started my career without a family and now I've got two beautiful kids and a lovely wife so to be able to represent the NRL at a very high level for as long as I did, that's something I'm going to be very proud of when I finish.”

The forward follows a number of experienced players who have moved to Catalans in recent years, led by James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce. More directly, he will be a replacement for Siosiua Taukeiaho, who returns to Australia next year.