Suaia Matagi may be bursting holes in defences and slamming his opponents on the deck in recent times, but it hasn’t always been that way for the rampaging prop forward.
Matagi, 33, has recently joined the Castleford Tigers on a permanent deal after spending 2021 on-loan at the Jungle, but he only made his move into rugby at the age of 19.
“I only started chasing my dream at at the age of 19,” Matagi told The Spirit of Sport podcast.
“I was working full-time before that, I was a delivery driver for a company at the time working 12 hours, you ponder things to yourself in the van during the day.
“I didn’t wan’t to have that what if moment and look back with kids and grandkids and sharing stories – I didn’t want any excuses.”
Matagi also revealed that the taste of that early working life inspired him to make sure he never went back.
“Being in the workforce before chasing my dream, I saw the insight of where I don’t want to return back to.
“I’ve done some hard work, labouring jobs and it gave me an insight to becoming a professional rugby league player for eight or nine nine years.
“I’ve seen what it takes to get to the highest level and now I’ve learnt the qualities it takes to get there.
“And, you can apply this to any other trade or skill or passion you want to.
“No disrespect to the workforce, but I can actually do more now, it’s given me the right mindset.”