Warriors prop gets mid-year release to join the Roosters

Suaia Matagi

Mid-season moves happen quite often in the rugby league world before a certain period and Suaia Matagi is the latest player to be involved in one.

Granted an early release from his contract by the New Zealand Warriors, Matagi will join the Sydney Roosters for at least the rest of the 2016 season.

Matagi, a Kiwi and Samoan Test player, has played 36 games in total for the Warriors and the club admits it was tough to let him go but they want to see him given opportunity.

“It was a really tough call to let Suaia go midway through the season,” said Vodafone Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden.

“Everyone in our squad and at the club as a whole is full of admiration for him with the way he has turned his life around. We have supported him on his journey to redemption and watched him make the most of every opportunity he has been given.

The club were quick to praise Matagi for his time at the club and wished him the best for his time at the Roosters.

“Naturally Suaia wants to be playing in the NRL but with the competition we have for spots he’s not getting those opportunities this season. That says a lot for the way our younger front rowers like Sam Lisone and Albert Vete have developed.

“We’d be happy to see Suaia getting the chance to play in the NRL and wouldn’t want to stand in his way. It’s not easy seeing him go in these circumstances but we wish him and his family all the best and congratulate him on what he has achieved so far.”

For Matagi himself, there are some mixed emotions as he wants opportunity but is grateful for the time he served with the Warriors club.

“It’s difficult leaving the club that has done so much for me,” he said.

“There are so many people to thank at the Vodafone Warriors. If it wasn’t for the coaching staff having faith in me and the club giving me the opportunities I’ve had I wouldn’t be where I am today. I also want to thank the members and the fans for all their support.

“I’ve loved every minute here but now my journey takes me to a new experience.”

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