As the West Coast holds its collective breath in hope for the 29 men missing down the River Pike mine, the local league community is thinking of Blair Sims and his family.

Sims plays for Suburbs Rugby League Club and also represents the West Coast and South Island at a representative level.

Suburbs and West Coast coach Phil Campbell has known Sims since he was about 15 years old.

"He's been a major part of our club side," he said. "He's a very good rugby league player."

This year Sims played four games - at centre and wing - for the newly established South Island side against teams from the North Island.

"He performed well, the South Island coach told me so," Mr Campbell said. "He was a player who was more than comfortable at that level.

"We just hope that he can pull out of this."

Sims was this year's West Coast player of the year, the second time in two years he had received the honour. He also won this season's best and fairest - which is awarded on points from the referee after each game.

"He's one of the guys who could have possibly played at a higher level if the opportunity had come earlier in his career," Mr Campbell said.

"But he chose to stay in the West Coast and build a family and a career in mining.

"He was always happy. He's a pleasure to have round.

"Blair always put in his share and contributed."

West Coast Rugby League Association chair Peter Kerridge called Sims and "absolute try scoring machine".

"He's a good bloke," he said. "You have to get past me to get the player of year. The player of year has to be a good all-rounder - on and off the field."

"He's one of the few who won player of the year two years in a row."

Mr Sims is married with two children.