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Sironen to fill shoes of Ellis at Tigers

Curtis Sironen might miss the first six weeks of the NRL competition with a fractured foot, but he has big shoes to fill at the Wests Tigers when he returns.
Sironen to fill shoes of Ellis at Tigers
by AAP

By Ben Horne

SYDNEY, Feb 20 AAP - Curtis Sironen might miss the first six weeks of the NRL competition with a fractured foot, but he has big shoes to fill at the Wests Tigers when he returns.

The Tigers weren't adequately able to replace the void left by English international Gareth Ellis when he returned to the Super League after the 2012 season.

But coach Mick Potter believes former five-eighth Sironen can make a successful switch to the second-row can create havoc on the right-edge.

Ellis' ability to punch through the line out wide was key in the Tigers' run to the 2010 and '11 finals series, but without him they've looked toothless close to the line.

While Sironen, son of Balmain legend Paul, isn't an exact replica of Ellis, he brings a playmaking ability which could give him another attacking dimension on the edge, similar to Manly's Glenn Stewart.

"Last year we weren't as effective in the back row as we should have been and we missed a few opportunities," Potter told AAP.

"There's no replacing Gareth Ellis, he's his own man and a fantastic player in his own right.

"Curtis Sironen has some of his qualities but he's got some other attributes that will be a benefit to the team as well. And he's just as big."

Potter says he doesn't want Sironen to lose his ability to play in the halves or at lock, but at this stage it seems Braith Anasta will partner rookie No.7 Luke Brooks to start the season.

Lining-up at lock will be a bulked-up Adam Blair, who came out in the summer and admitted he's let himself down over his two seasons at the Tigers.

"I like the players taking responsibility on how they're going and he's one of the hardest markers on himself in the game," said Potter.

"I thought probably eighty per cent of his games were high quality and 20 per cent weren't so flash.

"He wants to do 10 out of 10 really good games and that's the type of person he is."


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