Matavesi signs new deal at Saints

Sam Matavesi has signed a new contract at Saints.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 1:54 pm
Sam Matavesi
Sam Matavesi

The 29-year-old has so far made 27 appearances and scored three tries for the black, green and gold, having arrived from Championship outfit Cornish Pirates in December 2019.

The new deal will see Matavesi stay at Saints for the 2021/22 season and beyond, with the hooker having established himself as a first-team regular this term.

“Sam is a popular member of our group and we’ve been thrilled with his development since he joined the club,” said Saints boss Chris Boyd

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“He works hard, gives a good balance to our front row, and he is someone who still has plenty of improvement in him - so of course we’re thrilled to extend his contract.

“We have an exciting crop of hookers in our squad who are all pushing each other to improve every day, and Sam has taken his opportunity in recent months and performed well as a starter.

“He is starting to fulfil his huge potential, and we’re confident that will continue in the coming years.”

Matavesi began his career at hometown Club Camborne, progressing though Cornwall’s grassroots rugby system with stints at Plymouth Albion and Cornish Pirates after graduating from Exeter Chiefs’ academy.

The front rower’s career sky-rocketed in 2019 as his form earned him a loan spell with Toulouse, a French Top 14 title and a spot on the plane to the 2019 Rugby World Cup with Fiji, before he arrived at Franklin’s Gardens at the close of the year.

Matavesi has earned 15 international caps for Fiji so far, while also balancing his rugby with a military career in the Royal Navy.

The Able Seaman’s stationing at RNAS Culdrose has already seen him feature in three of the annual Babcock Trophy clashes with the Army at Twickenham.

He earned the Cossack Sword award in 2018 and the UK Armed Forces Sportsman of the Year accolade in 2020.

“I’m really excited to extend my time at Saints," Matavesi said.

"Every time I pull on the jersey it’s an honour for me, and so signing on for more was an easy decision.

“My family have settled well here, and I love being a part of the playing group at Franklin’s Gardens - we’re working as hard as we can to improve and it’s a fantastic environment to train in.

“The coaches here are top class and have helped me to improve all aspects of my game, while I’m also extremely grateful to the Royal Navy for the opportunity to continue playing rugby at the elite level.

“I’m really excited to see what the future holds at Saints, and to try to repay all of the faith the club’s amazing supporters have shown in me and the whole group over the last year.”