Featherstone Rovers sign Maitua from Canterbury Bulldogs

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FEATHERSTONE ROVERS have signed Samoan international forward Reni Maitua from Canterbury Bulldogs on a two-year deal, subject to him being granted a visa.

The 32-year-old has played 174 times in Australia’s elite NRL competition, for Canterbury, Cronulla Sharks and Parramatta Eel and been capped three times by Samoa.

“This is a massive signing for Featherstone Rovers and a statement of intent by the club,” said Rovers coach Andy Hay.

“His playing record speaks for itself and he brings a wealth of experience to our dressing room.

“He is an uncompromising leader - both on and off the field - and will be big asset. We’ve done our homework and talked to people who have been working with him recently and he was highly rated.”

Maitua started his career at Canterbury and was a substitute in their 2004 NRL Grand Final victory over Sydney Roosters before playing against Leeds Rhinos in the following year’s World Club Challenge.

He made 100 appearances for Bulldogs, scoring 23 tries and signed for Cronulla in 2009, playing for them eight times.

He then made 53 appearances for Parramatta Eels before returning to Canterbury Bulldogs last season, scoring one try in 13 matches.

Hay added: “I’ve spoken to Reni and he is really eager to join Featherstone Rovers and help us achieve our ambitions of bringing top flight rugby league to the town.

“He has made it clear he does not see this as a holiday, but he wants to prove himself in the UK with Featherstone Rovers.

“He is excited about the new structures in place in our competition and wants to play Super League with Rovers.

“He will not only be an asset on the field, but he will be helping to promote the club and lift the profile of Featherstone Rovers.”