Former NRL star Curtis Sironen is settling in well to life at St Helens and is excited about trying to help the club win a fourth Super League Grand Final in a row.
Sironen has left the NRL’s side Manly Sea Eagles and has joined Saints on a two-year deal.
The 28-year-old, the son of former Kangaroos and Balmain great Paul Sironen, is well versed in the Red Vee’s recent run of success and proud history.
“A few of my mates back home were laughing, saying there’s no pressure now, going for four in a row,” Sironen told League Express.
“But it’s unreal. Even just walking into training, seeing all the photos up and pictures of them standing there holding the trophy for all the years they’ve won it and the calibre of players they’ve had, the internationals they’ve had, big names – Jamie Lyon, Mal Meninga and so on. It’s unreal.
“They’re super-professional. They’ve been really welcoming but the underlying message is you’re playing to win and if you don’t it’s a failure of a year. It’s good. They obviously have high expectations but it’s good, the training’s good, the guys are friendly and it’s a good vibe.
“I’m just hoping I can add to the squad that’s already very good. I just need to get myself in the best condition I can.
“I’ve watched the Super League a lot, even from home. From growing up with dad we’d watch games in the early morning. I can remember all those great St Helens teams playing Leeds and Bradford back in the early 2000s.
“So I’ve always known about the club and in the last few years playing in the NRL you know what’s going on over here too. Given their success they’ve basically become the superpower of the English game, which is unreal.
“It’s a bit surreal. So I’m just happy to be here to learn off some of these guys. I’m really enjoying it.”
Sironen, who started his NRL career with Wests Tigers in 2012, has just completed his first week of pre-season at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
The forward spent five years at the Sea Eagles, and admits it was tough to leave the club, but he’s always harboured ambitions of playing in the UK.
“I’ve been at Manly since 2017 and probably played my best footy there,” he said.
“I grew up and had a good time there. But when opportunities like this arise, especially at a huge club like this, it was just hard to say no. I’d always had ambitions of coming over.
“My dad said that one of the biggest regrets in his career was that he didn’t come over and play here and be a part of those derby games to experience the rivalries, the crowd and the life experience.
“So there were lots of factors, but overall, I want to be playing in a successful team.
“And I’m really enjoying being coached by Woolfy (Kristian Woolf). He’s a good fella, straight to the point and really honest.”
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