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Manly forward Curtis Sironen.

He played with them more than five years ago but this weekend Curtis Sironen faces Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall back at Leichhardt Oval for the first time.

Sironen's Sea Eagles travel to the inner west on Saturday to play the Wests Tigers in round one. Sironen has not been back there since leaving the club three years ago.

"Benji and Robbie continue to turn up and do what they've always done. They are so professional and talented and durable," Sironen told NRL.com of lining up against his two former mentors.

"They are rugby league geniuses they've been doing it so long and so well.

"I'm excited to go out there and face them again. They will be pumped up as Leichhardt means so much to them.

"There's not many faces from my old teammates back then but those two are pretty familiar – it's very exciting."

Sironen was a Tiger – for five years – before moving to the Manly Sea Eagles in 2017.

For the past two seasons Sironen has been injured on each of the four occasions he was due to face the Tigers – two of those at Leichhardt.

Wests Tigers veterans Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall.
Wests Tigers veterans Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

"I'm pretty excited to get out there and play my old club. I've missed them the last two years through injury.

"I get to play my old club in my first game back from an ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] tear. So there's a few things going into this week so I'm a little bit nervous. I can't wait to get out there for that first run, first tackle and get back into it.

"I've had a good 12 months recovery so that's a positive. I had the injury early last season so I've had a lot of time off; a lot of rest; I didn't have to rush back and the rehab has been good.

"The trial games gave me some good confidence [in my knee]."

Sironen played two seasons (2012-13) with Farah and Marshall. But from the team he left in 2016, which included players like Josh Addo-Carr, Matt Ballin, James Tedesco and Mitch Moses and Farah, there are few faces left.

"It's funny, rugby league. You see guys every day and become good friends but then you move clubs. It's not that you aren't friend any more but your life is diverted.

"I loved being a Tiger but my I'm at Manly now and my life as a Sea Eagle is great too.

"The Tigers have recruited really well the last couple of years and [new coach] Michael Maguire will give them that real edge."

They are rugby league geniuses

Curtis Sironen on Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall

One thing that has not changed at the Tigers is the connection with Leichhardt Oval, and in turn the Sironen family history there as well.

Dad Paul Sironen played 247 games for Balmain and the Sydney Tigers. Curtis's brother Bayley made his NRL debut with the Tigers in 2017 and played at Leichhardt.

"A hundred per cent our family has a great affection and connection with Leichhardt Oval," Sironen said.

"Hopefully some of my family will cheer for me even if I'm in a Manly shirt.

"I'm sure some in the crowd will give it to me reminding me of my Tigers past. But that's all part of it."

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