St.Helens R.F.C. are delighted to announce that forward Sione Mata’utia has extended his contract with the Club until the end of the 2024 season, with an option to extend the deal by a further twelve months.
Sione Mata’utia is proudly sponsored by Tom Crowe Procurement Solutions.
By signing this extension Mata’utia will head into his fourth season in the famous Red V after joining the Club from Newcastle Knights ahead of the 2021 season.
In his debut campaign, he unfortunately missed out on the Challenge Cup Final win at Wembley but helped secure his first Super League title at Old Trafford, and followed it up with another championship winners ring in 2022.
Back in February this year, Mata’utia was also part of the historic World Club Challenge victory over Penrith Panthers, bringing back to the UK the Saints’ third world title in its history.
The 27-year-old to date has played 57 times for St.Helens, scoring twelve tries, and has proved himself to be one of Super League’s finest forwards, showcasing his powerful running and strong defensive work, alongside his versatility to play anywhere in the pack or even at centre.
On staying with the Saints for at least a further season, Sione Mata’utia told saintsrlfc.com:
“It’s good to finally get it done, I’ve got to thank the Club for allowing me the time to get through the process. There was a lot that had to go into it in terms of whether it was going to fit for my family to stay here again, knowing my partner would be away from her family as well. [The Club] allowed me a lot of time to let this play out a little bit longer, so I’m grateful for that opportunity and for the opportunity to keep doing what I love to do now.”
Heading into year four in the Red V in 2024, Mata’utia is excited to continue to be part of our club and work under Paul Wellens as his Head Coach.
“The personnel has changed, but the culture and expectations stay the same. I think that is what’s important, it’s why the Saints have been who they are. You are expected to do certain things when you step into the building and put on this jersey, as long as they never change I don’t think the culture would ever change. You always get the personnel change but once they come in, you know what’s expected, they will let you know that is for sure
“I think every coach I’ve had has been different, it’s always refreshing to get a change. [Wellens] He’s added something different to what Woolfie (Kritsian Woolf) has. A bit more with the attack as well which is exciting, he’s an ex-player so he knows what the culture is like, it’s the biggest thing, he drives the culture and what the expectation is of how to be a Saints player.”
With the Saints already confirmed to be participating in the play-offs, the chance is there to make even more history in the Club’s 150th anniversary year. Cee is also chasing his own third Super League title in succession and believes it would set the team apart from all others.
“I know for me it’d be three-in-a-row, but I think about it being five-in-a-row because that would be more important. I want that because being a part of this team, in my own opinion, would make us one of the best teams ever in the Super League era and nobody could take it away from us if we did it.
“We’ve still got a lot to improve on though which is the important thing. As long as we’re still finding things to improve on, building momentum, and having that going into the finals as well. Hopefully, we’re hitting our straps at the right time of the year.”
The Saints faithful have sung an alternate version of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ to show their love for Sione Mata’utia, and he wanted to express his gratitude for the incredible support our fans have shown him and the team since joining.
“Thank you so much for being a part of our games and being supportive of myself since I’ve been here. You are definitely fans that I will show appreciation to after every game and they make it so easy for me, a big thank you and hopefully get some more support moving forward.”
Head Coach Paul Wellens credited Mata’utia highly and is looking forward to working with him further in 2024, saying: “It’s a real positive to our Club that we can retain the services of a top-quality player like Cee (Sione).
“We’ve been patient with him as we know he and his partner have a young family, and here they are on the other side of the world, but we know he loves it here at Saints and has really enjoyed being in the UK.
“When the decision has been made to stay with us, we know it is a decision that has been made for the right reasons and so I’m thrilled that Cee will be staying with us for another year. He is an important and high-quality player that I know the rest of the squad loves playing alongside.
“On and off the field, Sione is a well-liked member of our squad, and he brings a lot to the environment. He has bought into everything we as a Club do to try and be successful, and we always want to work with high-quality players to achieve what we set out to do.”
Mata’utia’s professional career began with NRL club Newcastle Knights where he came through their junior ranks to make his senior debut in 2014. Later that year Sione would become the youngest player to ever represent Australia at just 18 years and 129 days of age in the first of his three test appearances for the Kangaroos. Further honours would include an appearance for Samoa and for the World All Stars too.