Posted: Sunday 10th October 2021
Suaia Matagi signs two-year deal
Castleford Tigers are thrilled to announce that Suaia Matagi has agreed to a two-year contract with the Club!
The New Zealander joined the Fords on loan from fellow West Yorkshire side Huddersfield Giants prior to the 2021 campaign and has impressed during his first spell as a Tiger.
Speaking exclusively to castlefordtigers.com about securing a further two years at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle, the prop forward declared that he is overjoyed to have signed on the dotted line.
“I’m really excited and grateful to Castleford for the opportunity this year and I’m really excited to stay here and hopefully do something special in these next two seasons.
“It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride for me. I had a slow start and injured my calf during the pre-season and then really began finding my feet coming into the end of the year.
“I’m just really grateful for this opportunity and hopefully we can do something special.”
The 33-year-old in his first season as a Tiger has made a big impression both on and off the field. Touching on how easily and quickly he has settled in at Wheldon Road, the prop praised his teammates and the Fords faithful for their help.
“I’ve been to a few teams now and I’d say the transition coming here to Cas – the players, the staff have been awesome, and more importantly the fans. I’ve really felt at home. It’s made everything become easier and the next two years more exciting for myself and I’m looking to put my best foot forward.
“Ever since day one, I’ve just felt their love and support. I want to let them know that them turning up makes a massive difference. It’s something us players we get excited by. Even the home and away games when you see them turn up to show their support, it definitely makes a difference.
“One highlight for me would be the St Helens game – seeing the Tigers fans who travelled over, and for us to get the win was something special. It was for those fans who travel week in week out. I’m really grateful for them.”
Suaia, known by the nickname of ‘Sui’, has international appearances under his belt too for both Samoa and New Zealand, and back in June this year he featured in the Combined Nations All Stars’ victory over England.
Matagi’s barnstorming efforts have made him a player that the Cas fans love to see charging forward, with his direct runs from kick-offs being highlighted frequently by his fellow teammates. Sui insisted that it is his main responsibility to gain the hard yards for the team.
“It’s my game and what I feed myself on. Impact and trying to run the ball in as hard as I can. Courage is contagious and that’s what I want to do, make impact, and try to get the boys on the front foot and if I can bring that, then all is well."
Castleford’s #24 finished off by thanking departing Head Coach Daryl Powell for the influence he has had on him in such a short space of time but also pointed out that he is looking forward to the future under Lee Radford in 2022.
“I’m just really grateful for the opportunity he’s given me. Powelly will be up there with one of the best coaches that I’ve been coached under.
“It’s exciting times with a new Head Coach coming in!”
Lee Radford, Head Coach of Castleford Tigers, was delighted to be able to secure Suaia’s services at the Tigers for the next two years.
“He has one gear which he plays in, top gear, a kick the door down type of front-rower and there is a place within the squad for those types of players.
“They either come on and turn the tide of a game or they lay the foundation down early on in a game, it’s really important.
“Sui has a great pedigree coming from the NRL, and I’ve been really impressed with his performances, I think he’s been fantastic.”
Sui is locked in then for the #NewCasEra – Join us at The Jungle and be a part of it too!
2022 Memberships are available online NOW by visiting castlefordtigers.com/2022