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Newcastle Knights' forward Sam Mataora celebrates his 50th NRL game on Monday night when the Knights take on the Parramatta Eels.

The Cook Islands born Knight grew up in Brisbane from the age of 11 and played his junior football for Souths Sunnybank Junior Rugby League Club.

Mataora made his first grade debut for the Canberra Raiders in Round 8 of the 2010 season. 

In 2013 he represented the Cook Islands in the Rugby League World Cup. 

In 2014, he became a Newcastle Knight and made his club first grade debut in Round 12 of 2015 against the New Zealand Warriors. 

The powerful forward played an integral part in the NSW Cup Knights' 2015 premiership win and has been a strong performer in 2016 recognised with the Players’ Player Award on three occasions.