You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Kyle Lovett looked up to Tigers legend Wayne Pearce and has followed in his footsteps.

There's a very good reason – a genetic one, perhaps – for Curtis Sironen dragging you down memory lane all the way to the '90s each time he makes that trademark run.

But if the kid they call 'Sarge' now flanked on the opposite edge bears a slight resemblance to another Balmain legend, there's an entirely plausible explanation for that, too. 

"I liked Wayne Pearce," rookie Kyle Lovett tells "He's a bit older than me obviously, but I read his book a few times as a young bloke. The hard working back-rower is someone I looked up to. Liam Fulton at the club was also one I looked up to. Those kinds of players are the ones I want to emulate."

The Balmain half of the joint venture is in Lovett's footballing bloodlines. 

Not only was he born out of the same junior nursery that birthed current skipper Robbie Farah, he got his education from the same buildings that taught another one of Balmain's finest, too. 

So it was only right that Lovett went and studied up on how Pearce became the stuff of legend in his own hallways. 

"He went to Leichhardt High and I went to Leichhardt high, so I just looked up to him," Lovett explains.

"Obviously I didn't see him live, but I've watched footage. I just heard a lot about him as I was growing up as a local boy. 

"He did his best, worked hard all the time, and trained real hard. They believed that was the main thing to getting to your goals. Training hard always beats talent. So I did a lot of the things that he believed in."

And the fact that his best mate Curtis was cut from the same cloth made it a lot easier for Lovett to do so. For many of these Concord Kids, their roots stem from their 2012 Holden Cup premiership win. 

But for the 22-year-old Lovett and 21-year-old Sironen, their friendship goes back over a decade. 

"I'm playing with some of the mates I've been playing with since we were nine or 10. With Curtis Sironen, we're best mates and now we're playing on the field together. We were versing each other as nine-year-olds and now I get to run down the tunnel with him. I love it," Lovett says. 

"I played under 14s and all the development squads with him and guys like Joel Luani. There's a couple more, it's a dream come true. It's something we always spoke about and now it's happening."

Pearce, an inaugural member of the Australian Rugby League Commission, played 193 games over 11 seasons in the black and gold – eight of them, as captain. 

On the other hand, an off contract Lovett has designs on earning a new deal with the club, beginning with this Saturday night's clash with the Warriors. 

"I want to stay here. It's my goal. I want to stay at the club. We haven't spoken yet, but I'll worry about that later. I just want to play footy," he says. 

"Staying here means a lot to me. I was a kid at Leichhardt Oval, growing up on the hill and watching the boys. It's a dream come true obviously playing now for them. It was a goal my whole life."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners