Suaia Matagi: Castleford Tigers keep former Huddersfield Giants forward on two-year contract

Powerful forward Suaia Matagi is staying at Castleford Tigers after signing a two-year contract.

Suaia Matagi on the charge for Tigers against Wakefield Trinity. Picture by Tony Johnson.

The Samoa and New Zealand Test prop spent this season at Tigers on loan from Huddersfield Giants and has now agreed a longer-term deal.

“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,” Matagi said.

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The 33-year-old played in the NRL for New Zealand Warriors, Sydney Roosters, Penrith Panthers and Parramatta Eels before joining Giants in 2018.

He was a member of the Combined Nations All Stars team which beat England in June.

Matagi described his first season as Cas as a “rollercoaster of a ride”.

He said: “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.”

He added: “I’ve been to a few teams now and I’d say coming here to Cas – the players, the staff have been awesome and more importantly the fans - I’ve really felt at home.

“It has made everything become easier and the next two years more exciting for myself and I’m looking to put my best foot forward.

Matagi’s strong runs were a feature of Tigers’ campaign and he promised more of the same next year.

“It’s my game and what I feed myself on - impact and trying to run the ball in as hard as I can,” he stated.

“Courage is contagious and that’s what I want to do, make an impact and try to get the boys on the front foot.

“It’s exciting times with a new head coach coming in!”

Tigers boss Lee Radford expects Matagi to be a key figure in his team over the next two years.

“He has one gear he plays in, top gear,” Radford said.

“He’s 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 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.”