Paul Sironen

  • Paul Sironen, Speaker, NRL Speaker

    At his peak one of the most damaging attacking forwards in the game, the tall second row forward made a great impact in his first year in top grade after returning from Hawaii where he had been studying on a gridiron scholarship. Sironen was named ‘Dally M’ Rookie of the Year in 1986 and after gaining selection on the Kangaroo Tour made his Test…

    Location: NSW, Australia
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About Paul

At his peak one of the most damaging attacking forwards in the game, the tall second row forward made a great impact in his first year in top grade after returning from Hawaii where he had been studying on a gridiron scholarship. Sironen was named ‘Dally M’ Rookie of the Year in 1986 and after gaining selection on the Kangaroo Tour made his Test debut against Papua New Guinea.

He played in one Test on tour, against France, but battled to recapture that form during the next two seasons. Following Balmain’s loss in the 1988 grand final, Sironen played in the World Cup final and appeared in two Tests on the tour of NZ in 1989. A try-scorer in Balmain’s loss to Canberra in the 1989 grand final, Sironen played in one-off Tests against France and NZ before making his second Kangaroo tour in 1990. He appeared in all five Tests on tour and was a standout performer in Australia’s desperate battle to retain the Ashes.

The 1991 season was a write-off due to injury but he returned to the top grade the following year to play in the Ashes series against Great Britain. Sironen’s man-of-the-match performance in the Third Test against Great Britain, and Australia’s World Cup victory in England at the end of 1992, raised his reputation to cult status in one section of the media (especially ABC’s Roy Slaven and H.G.Nelson). ‘Sirro’ overcame back injuries to take his place in the NSW and Australian rep teams in 1993-94 and although he became only the fourth forward in history to make a third Kangaroo tour, there were signs that his international career was coming to a close.

After being head-hunted by English forwards in the club matches, he was on the receiving end of a vicious elbow from Great Britain’s Barrie McDermott in Australia’s First Test loss and was used on the interchange bench in the Second Test. In 1995 Sironen was named captain of the Sydney Tigers but, for the second time in his career, relinquished the role after six rounds to concentrate on his game.

After surpassing Garry Jack’s club record for most first grade games, Sironen left his beloved Tigers at the end of the 1998 season to see out his career in France with Villeneuve-sur-Lot. In May 1999 Sironen starred in the club’s 33-20 win over St Gaudens in the French championship before returning home and guesting for Blayney in the Group 10 competition.

Sironen was a vocal supporter of Balmain’s joint venture with Wests at the end of 1999 but proved that he was foremost a Rugby League supporter when he publicly castigated those W’Tigers players who brought the game into disrepute in 2001. His stories about the characters he pas played with and against are second to none and is a great option for your next club or corporate event.

 

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