By Rachael Price
St George Illawarra Dragons centre Peter Mata’utia has turned the disappointment of not representing Samoa into a positive by commencing pre-season training early.
The Samoa international was unable to play compete for his country of heritage in the Four Nations tournament due to passport issues but was glad he could link-up with Club teammates to start training.
The Bankstown Cougars junior is additionally proud to see his younger brother Sione Mata’Utia represent Australia as the youngest Kangaroo ever and hopes to see him gain further accolades.
“It was disappointing to miss out on the chance to play in the Four Nations but I would’ve missed some preseason training with the Dragons,” said Mata’Utia.
“I had passport dramas so I had a talk with Mary and we decided that it would be best for me to stay here and focus on getting my game right for the start of season and not interrupt training.
“I’m really proud of my brother for playing in the tournament and being the youngest ever to play in the Four Nations.
“I was backing Samoa on the sidelines against Australia but was also cheering for Sione.
“I’m hoping to cement a spot in the side and play consistently well in 2015; Mary is big on consistency.
“I’ve been learning off the older guys in the squad and being more professional, I’m still young and having the older players at the Club is really helping the young guys we have.
“We need their experience; they’ve played a lot of games and they’re very respected in our squad.
“Pre-season training is tough, but we’re putting in the hard yards; we’re focusing on elements we lost track of in our games last season so controlling the ball, fatigue and keeping the pressure.”