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Curtis Sironen is out to cement a spot in Wests starting side, not just act as a stopgap in the absence of Benji Marshall

With yet another Wests Tigers star having departed to join Cronulla, Wests young gun Curtis Sironen can't wait to take on a few ex-teammates when his side takes on the Sharks in 2014.

Benji Marshall's exit to New Zealand rugby may have grabbed the headlines but Blake Ayshford's departure to the Shire continues a recent trend, with fellow former Tigers Chris Heighington, Beau Ryan, Andrew Fifita and Bryce Gibbs already at Cronulla.

The familiar faces automatically make the Tigers-Sharks clash more meaningful than most, Sironen admits.

"It's sort of sad when you see a few of the boys you played a couple of years with move on, but that's just footy," Sironen told

"I think we're all excited to go out and play against the boys. It's always that extra bit of something that you get up for that week during training. We just need our members to get out there and help us as well. We need plenty of support for us against the Sharkies."

Games are like this aren't easy to miss on the NRL calendar, and Sironen hopes the match-up comes nice and early. 

"It's difficult to try and just treat it like another game because of the hype and the media," Sironen says. 

"You get out of bed going to training... you've got to be switched on every week, but it's just that extra something, you know? We'll definitely be excited. Hopefully we get to play them early in the year, that'd be awesome."

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