Mako Set to Hunt in New Waters, Matenga Signs with Seawolves
TUKWILA, WASHINGTON (December 10, 2021) – The Seattle Seawolves have signed New Zealand prop Samuel Matenga through 2024. Matenga, who has played against Major League Rugby (MLR) sides in 2020, is set to debut and compete in MLR himself beginning 2022.
“Sam is an exciting addition to our squad. A young tight head, he’s physical with good core skills and most importantly has worked hard to establish himself as a dominant scrummager in New Zealand’s club and provincial competitions,” said Seawolves director of rugby and head coach Allen Clarke. “Equally impressive are his core values and his motivation to become the absolute best he can be. On behalf of the Seawolves family, we’re delighted to welcome Sam, his partner, Natane, and son, Cilais, to our brotherhood.”
Born in Gisborne, New Zealand, the 23-year-old began his rugby career with Gisborne Boys High School and made the Hurricanes U18’s in 2017. Shortly after, he joined the Crusaders Academy in Christchurch that led to an opportunity with the Tasman Mako in 2019 as an injury replacement that led to three appearances. In 2020, he suited up and performed well for Kahurangi Rugby Club in 2020. Matenga went on to play 10 matches for the Tasman Mako, including the 2020 NPC Premiership Final, as well as toured to the U.S. with the Mako to face the Houston SaberCats and Seattle Seawolves. Matenga scored a try against Houston in their win over the Sabercats before facing his new side in the Seawolves at Starfire Stadium on January 27, 2020. Matenga brings a strong front row skillset that will only grow over the next three seasons with the Seawolves and the MLR competition.
“I’m excited to see what it’s like playing rugby in America and test my skills in this competition,” said Matenga. “I chose the Seawolves because they have a strong culture and a great desire to be the best organization – and I want to be part of this legacy.”
The Seawolves are set to face two Canadian teams in January as part of their preseason preparations, facing UBCOB Ravens on January 22 and Rugby Canada’s West Selects on January 28. Regular season will begin February 6 as Seattle welcomes the Toronto Arrows to Starfire Stadium in Tukwila. 2022 season and half-season memberships are on sale now, as well as group and single-match tickets, and can be purchased here.
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