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Suaia Matagi makes a run against the Eels.

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."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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