Written by Callum Walker
At 32 years of age, joining a new club would perhaps have been at the back of Suaia Matagi’s mind, having spent three good seasons with Huddersfield Giants in Super League.
But, with new head coach Ian Watson shaking up the Giants squad, that left the prop forward looking elsewhere. And, it’s the Mend-a-Hose Jungle where the former Parramatta Eel and New Zealand Warrior has laid his hat for 2021.
“The opportunity to join Cas just opened up,” Matagi explained to Everything Rugby League.
“I was looking for a club at the time and I went through the process of speaking with the coaching staff and it all worked out in the end.”
Having made the short trip across West Yorkshire to join the Tigers, the Kiwi has found it easy to settle in.
“It’s been really good and I’m really enjoying my time so far at the club; the playing staff have been really welcoming.
“I’m just excited for this year. Pre-season has been really good and I’m just taking it day-by-day whilst learning a lot as well.”
Matagi’s main aim is to nail down a spot in the starting line-up, but he knows just how competitive that will be with a formidable forward pack heading into 2021.
“I want to stay fit and healthy, and try and get into the 17.
“We’ve got a really solid squad this year with a lot of competition which is a real bonus for the club.
“It’s just a case of taking it one week at a time and optimize my day to try and get the best out of it.
Despite only joining on a one-year loan deal, the prop forward is not worried about what will happen after 2021. Instead, Matagi is a firm follower of ‘what will be will be’.
“Sometimes I just try to take care of the present really.
“I believe that if I can maximise the present day and what I can control then everything else will take care of itself.
“I’m not really too focused on next year, I believe if I take care of where I am at right now and be consistent then it will all fall into place.
“I just want to do my best for Castleford this season and see what happens.”