Matagi living in the moment
He may not be guaranteed a place in coach Trent Robinson's team for the Roosters top of the table clash with the Broncos, but 18th man Suaia Matagi's mid-season move from the Warriors has paid off big.
Considering just five years ago Matagi wasn't allowed to travel to Australia – due to a prior three-year jail conviction – the 27-year-old one-time Kiwis representative is blown away he's been able to make a permanent move across the ditch.
"Sometimes I've got to pinch myself, knock on wood, I can't believe I'm here," Matagi said.
"A few years ago I was told I wouldn't be able to travel the world or get to travel to Australia. So I'm living the dream.
"It's been a big step out of my comfort zone. But I wanted to take the challenge on. It's been awesome. I don't want to look back. I definitely won't be going back to New Zealand any time soon. I love it here.
"I wasn't promised anything coming here. But I just wanted to challenge myself and see if I could achieve my goal. I've achieved it so far. Being 18th man is a positive too. It's one step closer to the 17."
While uncertainty reigns on a week-to-week basis in terms of whether he'll play in the NRL or not, the off-contract Matagi said returning to the NSW Cup ladder-leading Wyong Roos is a "win-win situation".
"I can't control tomorrow or the future. All I can control is the now. I'll put all my energy into now and the rest will take care of itself," Matagi said.
"It's a good thing that the reserve team is doing well. Our winning attitude just rubs off and it's benefiting the whole club."
Despite the Roosters remaining a chance to re-sign Matagi, rumour is rife that several other clubs are looking to pinch him – something he is certainly open to, all in the name of solidifying a regular NRL spot.
"Wherever the opportunity provides itself, I'll put my hand up to go there. I'd definitely like to stay in Sydney but I also want to try and grab [a regular spot] with both hands," he said.
"To be honest, I don't even know what's going on. I just told my manager to sort it out and let me focus on one week at a time here at the Roosters."