St Helens land Manly forward Curtis Sironen

Drew Darbyshire

St Helens have signed forward Curtis Sironen from Manly Sea Eagles on  two-year deal from 2022, with the option for a third.

The 28-year-old back-rower has made 130 NRL appearances for Wests Tigers and Manly since making his first team debut back in 2012.

Sironen is effectively a direct replacement for Joel Thompson, who has announced he will retire at the end of the season.

Sironen said: “I am very excited about the next chapter in my career and I couldn’t have hoped to have signed with a better club.

“Every Australian player knows that the Saints set the benchmark in the English Super League. I felt extremely comfortable from the get-go when speaking to Kristian Woolf and Mike Rush and I even had an opportunity to chat to Paul Wellens about the move.

“It was a very easy decision for me because I always wanted to play in England at some stage and I feel now is the right time to be making the move. My ex-Manly team-mate Joel Thompson also told me some wonderful things about the club and its supporters.

“Obviously my focus remains on the Manly Sea Eagles and hopefully I can finish the season on a big note.”

St Helens coach Kristian Woolf added: “He is a big athletic, edge back-rower with a very good skill set. Being a stand-off in his younger years he has a real good passing and second phase game, so he has all the attacking attributes to make a real impact for us next season.

“He knows how to play tough and has very good defensive ability so he will improve us. He knows Joel Thompson well and we know he is a real good person who will fit into the group. He likes his training, is very professional and diligent so he is exactly the type of player we want to recruit.

“We are really looking forward to him coming over and becoming a Saints player in 2022.”