After a tough pre-season Peter Mata’utia cannot wait to get out onto the pitch with Castleford Tigers when the Betfred Super League season starts this week.
The 28-year-old Samoan international full-back is keen to show the Tigers fans what he can do after being put through his paces in training since the end of November.
He told the Express: “It’s been a tough pre-season, but it’s been very exciting and I can’t wait for the season to start.
“The training’s been good. We’ve been working sort of more defensive, trying to get us mentally stronger.
“The last couple of years Cas have lost big games and just haven’t played the same in these games.
“The boys have been digging in. It’s been hard like every other pre-season I’ve done and it’s been very challenging.”
Early on in the training Mata’utia and the rest of his teammates experienced something different with the farm camp in Cumbria.
He explained: “I enjoyed the Cumbrian trip once it was finished!
“It was very tough, but was a great experience. I’ve done a lot of Army camps before, but this one was good on both sides – it was mentally challenging and there was also a bit of fun in there.
“It was good for the team and we’ve got a lot out of it.”
Mata’utia reckons the Tigers will be challenging at the top end of Super League once again.
He added: “I think we’ll be right up there. We have a good chance of being in that Grand Final this year despite Galey being injured.
“Coming off the back of last year when there were so many injuries and still finished third, we have to have a chance.
“It’s going to be tough, especially at the start of the year and we’ve got a hard game in round one with Catalans coming off some good form last year. But I believe we can make it.
“It’s a massive blow to lose Galey and I was looking forward to playing with him, but we’d been training as though he wouldn’t be there for the start of the season.
“I’ve got confidence that with Truey and whoever Powelly decides to put in there we’ll get the job done.”