Steve Matai

Choosing allegiance to any country as a rugby league player is never easy, but with the growing need for other nations to be strong other than New Zealand and Australia, it is Samoa that has received a boost – with Manly Sea Eagles centre Steve Matai choosing the Pacific Island nation over New Zealand.

Matai, who is serious about playing for Samoa, has ruled himself out of the upcoming New Zealand test against Australia and has committed to Samoa to play under the Steve Price-led team, as well as having a final chance to represent his family and heritage.

“I spoke to the Kiwis on Wednesday and said I was going to make myself available for the Samoan side,” Matai said.

“I want to play for them at the end of the year. It might be my last World Cup so I want to represent my parents. My parents were born in Samoa. I rang Tony Iro and spoke to him. He said everything is fine and he is happy for me to do that. He said if he was undecided by the end of the year I could talk to him about it.

“I just thought it was a courtesy thing to do. He was happy and very grateful I made the call. The last World Cup I played for the Kiwis, but two years ago I said to Nigel Vagana, who is running it all, I want to play the World Cup for Samoa. He said wait to see how you feel. At the start of the year I made the decision I wanted to play for Samoa.”

Several other NRL players have also pledged their allegiance to Samoa, including Jeff Lima, Roy Asotasi, Junior Sa’u and David Fa’alogo.

By ricky

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.