By Mary Maidiotis
St George Illawarra Dragons utility Peter Mata’utia will do what he thinks is best for the team against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park on Monday.
Mata’utia, 24, has been named at fullback in lieu of the injured Josh Dugan, but is giving his teammate all week to prove his fitness.
The NSW Cup Representative player was called into the squad as a replacement for Jason Nightingale in round six and has thus far retained his spot in the red-and-white with some convincing performances.
“I’m humbled to be named in the team this week but I’m going to give Duges up until game day to prove his fitness,” said Mata’utia.
“It’s his position and he deserves to be given every chance to play this week.
“It’s tough training all week and knowing that Duges might make a comeback, especially because it will be so late in the week.
“That’s the good thing about our team though, everyone has been playing well and whoever takes that position will do the job for the team.
“That depth is a real credit to the coaching staff with the way they’ve been looking after us, and all the work we needed to do during the preseason is paying off for us so far.
“It was good playing alongside my brother Chanel on the weekend, it’s been a while and I didn’t take that for granted.
“I had been picked for the NSW Cup Representative team and I wasn’t sure if I was going to make the Samoan team or not, they didn’t name their side until late and I just wanted to play a game so I chose the team I was guaranteed to be in.
“It’s everyone’s dream to play Origin but for that week it was just about me trying to get a game and since I had been named in the Residents side, that’s where I went.”