Sironen fit, eyes Wighton NRL showdown

Scott Bailey
Manly's Curtis Sironen is looking forward to taking on in-form Raider Jack Wighton (c) this weekend

Curtis Sironen has overcome a knee injury to be fit for Manly on Sunday but knows a far tougher test awaits in the form of Jack Wighton against Canberra.

Sironen missed the Sea Eagles' come-from-behind win over Brisbane last Thursday, after jarring his knee in the previous week's loss to Parramatta.

He has trained without incident this week, well aware of the challenge that awaits him at Campbelltown on Sunday.

Sironen forms a key part of the best right-edge defence in the competition, with he and Daly Cherry-Evans' side having let in an NRL best four tries this year.

But Wighton awaits on their edge this week, with Sironen declaring him as one of the form players of the NRL.

The Raiders five-eighth has scored tries in each of their past two matches, turning the contest against Wests Tigers when he took the line on to score.

"He's almost the form player in the comp," Sironen said.

"Even how he started the season. In the first game it was first touch, try. He played really well for the Blues last year and has continued to improve.

"He's someone who is respected across the game as one of the best players and he shows it every week."

Only a year into his switch to No.6, Wighton has quickly developed into one of the best running halves in the competition.

His ability take the line on without fear is what has made him the most dangerous, running through defenders for three of his four tries this year.

"He's a big athlete, Jack. He is aggressive and takes you on physically. He's just a quality player, playing with confidence," Sironen said.

"You have to do your homework and turn up ready to put your body on the line or he can make you pay.

"You want to match yourself against guys like that and teams like the Raiders. We'll be ready."

Sunday's match will also make for a big test of Manly's depth, which shapes as the biggest question mark over their title credentials this year.

While Sironen is a big in for the Sea Eagles, they will be missing Martin Taupau (finger), Moses Suli (finger), Jorge Taufua (quad) and Corey Waddell (shoulder).

But Manly point to the way they played while injury ravaged last season that the depth is there.

"The biggest battle for any team a lot of the time is staying healthy," Sironen said.

"The majority of last season we were the same. Without Turbo (Tom Trbojevic) and Chez (Daly Cherry-Evans) for long periods.

"It's nothing we're not used to it."