Castleford fans can be excited about their club's new signing Peter Mata'utia; he comes to the Mend-a-Hose Jungle following Leigh owner's Derek Beaumont declaration that he wanted to sell the club at the end of the season. The likes of Bodene Thompson (Warrington), Jordan Thompson (Leeds) and Harrison Hansen (Widnes) have already left the Centurions whilst Mata'utia had been strongly rumoured with a move to either Castleford or St Helens after five clubs had reportedly wanted the Samoan international at the beginning of the week. But, it was the Tigers that have won the race.

NRL pedigree

From 2008 to 2010, Mata'utia played for the Newcastle Knights' National Youth Competition team where he excelled, scoring over 300 points in 44 games. His form as a 17-year-old earned him a call-up to the Australian Schoolboys side in August 2008. Going from strength to strength with the Knights' NYC team, Mata'utia made his bow for Samoa against the Cook Islands in the 2009 Pacific Cup.

Mata'utia impressed that much he graduated to the Knights' New South Wales Cup team, the Central Coast Centurions. Even then though it wasn't long before Mata'utia was in Newcastle's first-team, making his debut - at 20 years of age - in round 11 of the 2011 NRL season where he scored. And, in June of that year, the versatile back signed a two-year deal with the Knights whom were able to fend off three rival teams to acquire his signature.

Mata'utia finished off 2011 having scored two tries in five NRL games.

Disaster struck in the 2012 season however - in a game for the Central Coast Centurions, Mata'utia suffered a crushed larynx. Unfortunately, this meant that the Samoan would play just one game for the Knights in the NRL that year.

Mata'utia failed to break through into the Knights' first team in 2013 and moved to St George Illawarra Dragons in August of that year, though he did make it into the 2013 New South Wales Cup Team of the Year at centre.

Over the course of three seasons, Mata'utia registered 35 appearances for the Dragons, scoring 11 tries before moving back to Newcastle ahead of the 2016 season.

Move to England

The Samoan made another 35 appearances for the Knights, scoring ten tries in two seasons, before a move to England came to fruition for 2018. Leigh Centurions would be Mata'utia's new home, despite Newcastle offering him a one-year extension.

The 5 ft 11, 94kg powerhouse has operated at both centre and fullback for the Centurions in 2018, scoring nine tries in 20 games at the Lancashire club. But, Tigers head coach Daryl Powell has spoke of his desire for Mata'utia to play fullback - a position which the Tigers have struggled to fill following Zak Hardaker's acrimonious departure.

Could be a big hit

Mata'utia should be able to fit in well at Castleford; he is skilful, physical and intelligent too. Having been a part of the Samoan national squad, the New South Wales-born back will no doubt be able to slot in alongside the likes of Ben Roberts, Junior Moors and Jesse Sene-Lefao and settle in quite quickly. Castleford are a club renowned for their superb ethos and culture and Mata'utia appears to be in the same humble mould as the players currently at the Jungle.

It is usually a sign of how respected a player is at a club they are leaving by the response of the fans. Almost all those that have left Leigh so far haven't exactly been given a good send off. Mata'utia however, has been hailed as a star by Leigh fans and has left without causing any bad blood whatsoever.

And, the Castleford faithful have welcomed Mata'utia with open arms; they recognise that they have a brilliant player on their hands and one that could well be the missing piece of the jigsaw that the Tigers have longed for at the back in 2018.