He is a hulking powerhouse on the edge and Eliesa Katoa will ply his trade at the New Zealand Warriors, signing a new long-term deal.
Katoa was a surprise inclusion to make his debut in round 1 of the 2020 season and appeared again in round 2, but off the bench.
Katoa’s ability is not in question by Warriors faithful and the man himself is excited to stay.
He had previously opened up on what playing footy means to him.
“It was a shock,” he said on Sky TV.
“The whole reason why I’m playing is to help out my family and my Mum’s happy.
“Every time I play, I want to put my best foot forward and just play my best.”
Katoa was a rugby union star in his schoolboy days but the Tamaki College student has huge support from the club.
“He’s a wonderful boy,” said Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney.
“He displays those values every day whether it’s at training or helping Laurie (Hale) by bringing equipment in.
“You wish you had 30 of them. Eli’s a really important part of our club’s future.”
Also echoing the sentiments of the coach was Warriors club captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck who praised Katoa.
“We first saw him as this big Tongan boy, how they breed every Tongan – big and strong,” he said.
“He did a tough preseason with us and has been killing it ever since on the footy park.
In our first two games, he was our man of the match, so well deserved.”
Tuivasa-Sheck also praised Katoa’s mentality in wanting to learn and absorb information.
“The mentality he has now is that all he wants to do is learn, feed off the other players, feed off the coaches and the management staff,” he continued.
I just tell him to keep that growth mindset and wanting to learn.”