Youngest Mata'utia wins Brian Carlson Award
Friday 14 June 2013 10:22 AM
Newcastle Knights SG centre Sione Mata'utia won the 2013 Brian Carlson Award at Wednesday night's Junior Presentation event at Wests New Lambton.
Jarrod Mullen, who presented the award to Mata'utia, Andrew Johns, Anthony Quinn, Owen Craigie, Kade Snowden and older brother Peter Mata’utia are previous recipients of this prestigious award.
The award is named after North Newcastle junior Brian Carlson, who was considered one of rugby league’s most talented footballers of the 1950’s and 1960’s. During his illustrious career he played in 17 Tests and six World Cup games, captaining the Australian side on two occasions.
“It is a real honour and privilege, it is a pretty prestigious award and thankfully I received it,” Sione told Knights TV.
Sione is the youngest of the four Mata’utia brothers who represent the Knights. Peter and Chanel are in the NRL squad while Pat plays in the National Youth Competition.
“I saw (Peter’s) name up there last year and really wanted to get this award and put my name together with his,” the 17-year old added.
“My brother's give me a lot of advice, week-to-week they pass on to me what they do wrong and what they do right.”
This was the Hunter Sports High student’s first year in the SG Ball competition after graduating from the under 16’s last year. At the 2012 Junior Presentation night, he was awarded the Harold Matthew’s Player of the Year and Player’s Player awards.
“You learn so much coming through the Knights system,” he added.
“Hopefully I will get a trial and make the team next year.”
Sione has been selected in the NSW Combined High Schools under 18’s and will travel to Cairns in July for the Australian Championships. The former under 16’s NSW captain is also hoping to be selected in the under 18’s NSW team for the Origin 2 curtain raiser.
“It will be a good opportunity to showcase my skills and try and make the Australian Schoolboys,” Sione said.
“It will be a tough six days with four days will be tough.
“It would mean a lot to make the NSW team again, it was the best experience when I made it when I was 16.”