Manly's back-row trio a throwback to workaholic era

The back-row trio is not what it used to be with locks playing as middle forwards alongside the props but don't try telling that to Curtis Sironen.

Manly's three back-rowers - Sironen, Joel Thompson and Jake Trbojevic - work as a unit, one of the most formidable group of hard-working forwards in the NRL.

In the Sea Eagles' glory days over the past four decades, their success has been built on non-stop back-rowers like Paul Vautin, Steven Menzies, Daniel Gartner, Terry Randall, Glenn Stewart and Anthony Watmough.

"It's massive to be a part of that. They are both such tough players," Sironen told NRL.com when asked about his combination with Thompson and Trbojevic.

"They are the sorts of teammates that anyone would want to play with."

They are also the sort of back row that has helped underpin the past three Sea Eagles wins over the Warriors, Rabbitohs, and Knights.

"When things go wrong, we don't slump. We keep our chest up and doing what we need to do to get the job done," said Thompson, who meets his former club St George Illawarra at WIN Stadium on Saturday.

"I'm really pumped for this week. It's always good to go there and play against some of my mates. Down there last year they got us so I'd like to turn that around.

"They're playing some good footy and really starting to build nicely now. Their halves are going well for them, the forwards are great. And that's what you want in big games."

All Sironen wants, Dragons or not, is to keep running on the field with Thompson and Trbojevic.

"Jake is just a freak. He comes out of the line and puts his body and head where people wouldn't put their feet," Sironen said.

"He's like a missile coming out of the line and trying to squash blokes. Then he's got this subtle touch with the ball and Thommo has the same.

"Thommo is also this super-competitor that nothing is too tough for him to put his hand up for. 

"I've learned a lot from those two. It's been a transition to learn how to play back row well.

"But with guys like that it forces you to do your job well because you don't want to let them down."