Sironen would be a gamble for Hasler. Image: AAP Image/Joel Carrett
Sironen would be a gamble for Hasler. Image: AAP Image/Joel Carrett

Siro in the mix for six at the Eagles

Manly coach Des Hasler is looking to use the biggest five-eighth in Manly history to fill the sizeable gap left by injured captain Daly Cherry-Evans.

The Sea Eagles' halfback was ruled out for between four to six weeks with a high ankle sprain, leaving Hasler to contemplate naming back-rower Curtis Sironen in the halves for Saturday's clash with Canterbury.

At 195cm and 110kg, Sironen is a vastly upsized option for 83kg No.7 Cherry-Evans, who faces a battle to be fit for State of Origin I in Brisbane on June 5.

Manly's skipper sustained the ankle syndesmosis eight minutes into the second half of last Sunday's 24-20 win over Canberra at Brookvale Oval.

Should Cherry-Evans' injury take longer to heal, he will miss the June 5 Origin opener, leaving the Maroons with another selection headache

It's understood Cherry-Evans may seek further clarification over the injury by visiting a specialist on Tuesday.

The injury is a crippling blow to Hasler, who is now searching for a replacement for Saturday's match against his former club Canterbury.

It’s a huge blow for Manly and Queensland. Image: AAP Image/Joel Carrett
It’s a huge blow for Manly and Queensland. Image: AAP Image/Joel Carrett
   

Hasler will consider Sironen or Gold Coast prospect Kane Elgey in the halves. Sironen shifted to five-eighth for the final 32 minutes against the Raiders last weekend with two-try hero Lachlan Croker moving to halfback.

Given Manly recorded a strong win over Canberra, it is anticipated Hasler may stick with the Sironen-Croker halves combination.

Not since the days of back-rower Feleti Mateo slipping into the playmaking role have Manly had such a giant in their halves.

The best-case scenario would have Cherry-Evans back a week-and-a-half before Origin I, but that still wouldn't leave him with enough time to play another NRL game before Queensland take on NSW at Suncorp Stadium.

 

Sironen would be a gamble for Hasler. Image: AAP Image/Joel Carrett
Sironen would be a gamble for Hasler. Image: AAP Image/Joel Carrett

 

It would be a gamble for Maroons coach Kevin Walters to play Cherry-Evans, despite the Manly star looming as the ideal captaincy option for the Queenslanders.

"If that is right, we'll give him every chance to be available I'd have thought," Walters said last night. "All the discussions I'd been having with people were that it wasn't going to be that long.

"But if he can't play before it (game one), it'd be a little over five weeks without a game - players can get through it with those circumstances.

"We had Josh McGuire with a similar sort of ankle injury and he came in and played really well in game one last year. Cooper Cronk rolled his ankle (in 2016) and he was gone at one stage - and he played.

"It's not ideal but knowing how meticulous DCE is with his preparation, playing him would be something we'd have to strongly consider."