Mata’utia: Needs Of The Team Come First
St George Illawarra Dragons centre Peter Mata’utia admits he will put the team first and play wherever he is required to in 2016.
The Toa Samoa international, who signed a two-year contract extension towards the end of the last campaign, is keen to push his teammates to excel this pre-season with positions across the field up for the taking.
Mata’utia, 25, has identified newly-recruited lock-forward Sebastine Ikahihifo as amongst the star performers amongst the full-time pre-season train-on squad thus far as well as National Youth Competition team duo Hame Sele and Blake Lawrie.
“It’s been a really tough pre-season so far and probably one of the most gruelling to date but we’re all hanging in there together,” said Mata’utia.
“I commenced my own training just after the end of last season as I had been challenged personally by McGregor to return to pre-season training lighter than I was this time last pre-season.
“The goal was set for me by the coach and I achieved it upon my return and I am feeling lighter and better for it.
“There are several new faces in and around the squad including Sebastine Ikahihifo who is very quiet but strong with a powerful running game and will prove a great asset to the team.
“The NYC players also invited to train alongside us have been working hard as well with a notable standout being both Hame Sele and Blake Lawrie who have both been killing it.
“I want to try and be the best that I can be and intend to train the house down which will hopefully be reflected by being selected into the team.
“I’ll be happy to be anywhere on the field as we have team values which is all about putting the needs of the team first.
“I will take wherever I am told to go on the field and if that means playing for the Illawarra Cutters in the NSW Cup then I’ll put my hand up for it and push everyone else to play the best they can.”