Championship side land ex Castleford Tigers man Suaia Matagi in big coup

Doncaster have continued their impressive and ambitious recruitment ahead of the 2024 season with the Championship side announcing the arrival of former Castleford Tigers forward Suaia Matagi.

Matagi becomes the fourth signing for the Dons who earned promotion via the playoffs in 2023, with the former Castleford man linking up with former teammate Alex Sutcliffe as well as ex Featherstone Rovers and Hull KR man Craig Hall. Another addition that the Dons have made sees former Wakefield Trinity centre Reece Lyne arrive.

There’s a clear statement of intent with those four signings with Matagi now bringing plenty of experience including five years in Super League, as well as both international and NRL experience.

Doncaster confirmed the signing via a statement on their website which read: “The Dons are delighted to confirm the signing of former NRL and Super League star Suaia Matagi.

“Matagi is the fourth new signing through the Dons’ door since securing promotion to the Betfred Championship, adding the prop to the signings of Craig Hall, Alex Sutcliffe and Reece Lyne.

Speaking on the signing, Matagi aged 35 explained: “Mentally and physically I feel like I’m just getting started. I’m excited and I’ve set some personal goals for myself this year and I want to make sure that 12-months from now I’m proud of the effort I’ve put in both on and off the field.”

Whilst he might be 35 Matagi didn’t actually start his pro career until 2013 when he linked up with New Zealand Warriors, making the switch to Huddersfield Giants following 101 NRL appearances.

He would go on to make 95 appearances in Super League representing both Huddersfield and Castleford on 50 occasions each across all competitions in his five year spell in England.

Doncaster’s statement continued: “Matagi arrives at the Eco-Power Stadium boasting an impressive CV including NRL appearances for New Zealand Warriors, Sydney Roosters, Penrith Panthers and Parramatta Eels before making his presence known in the Super League with Huddersfield Giants and Castleford Tigers in addition to international honours for both Samoa and New Zealand.

Matagi added: “They [Carl Hall and Richard Hall] spoke about the impact and influence I could have and what I could add with my experience as well not only on the field but off the field as well. I’ve worked with Carl before in prisons etc and it all ties in, it’s almost like a full package coming here and I want to help out and add value wherever I can.”