Wests Tigers forward Curtis Sironen says fierce competition for spots in the back-row is helping him produce some of his best football so far in 2015.
With the off-season departures of Adam Blair, Bodene Thompson, Cory Paterson and Braith Anasta, Sironen appeared to have his name on a starting spot in the back-row for season 2015. And while the 21-year-old has started every game so far this year in the second row, he says the competition for spots is keeping him on his toes every week and determined to produce his best in order to lock down a starting spot the following week.
"It's been really good having those spots really competitive so far this year," Sironen said.
"The competition at training and that kind of thing has been really beneficial for myself.
There's NOTHING quite like a packed hill! Be there on Sunday, April 19 when we take on the Canberra Raiders at Leichhardt Oval!
"It's a good challenge to try and get a spot in the back-row when there's guys like Lamar Liolevave and Brenden Santi and that who have been good to start the season who are keeping everyone on their toes. You know, with that competition, I think that when there has been a couple of injuries and guys have fallen out of the side, the boys that have come in and filled their spots haven't dropped off too much, and that's been really good overall for us.
"It's just good to have that challenge each week and guys pushing you not to get complacent.
"Hopefully that competition keeps going all year and that there aren't any serious injuries.
"It's been good for our form as a team and for myself individually."
Up against the New Zealand Warriors this week, Sironen and close friend Kyle Lovett will have a tough test ahead of them in their direct opponents — Ryan Hoffman and Bodene Thompson.
Sironen, in particular, is looking forward to the challenge of taking on Thompson, who he'll come up against for the first time since his off-season switch.
"I'm really looking forward to playing that this week," enthused Sironen.
"Bodene's a really good mate of mine and he's started the season really well since his move there so I'm looking forward to getting stuck into him a bit.
"It should be good fun," he laughed.
Wests Tigers take on the Canberra Raiders in their first game of the year at Leichhardt Oval on April 19! Click here to secure your seats and cheer on the boys in Sunday afternoon footy!