The nib Newcastle Knights have granted Sione Mata’utia a release from the final year of his contract with the Club, allowing him to take up a three-year deal with St. Helens in the English Super League.
The 24-year-old backrower made his National Rugby League debut for the Knights in 2014 and later that year became the youngest player to ever represent Australia, at just 18 years and 129 days, ultimately playing three tests for the Kangaroos and another for Samoa.
The South Newcastle junior captained the Knights at the tender age of 20 years old, on his way to amassing 124 NRL appearances for his hometown Club.
His efforts over seven seasons with the Knights were rewarded with the first finals appearance of his career in 2020, which proved to be his last in Newcastle colours.
Head Coach Adam O’Brien was glowing in his appraisal of Mata’utia’s legacy.
“Sione shares a wonderful history with the Knights, he’s a local junior who made an NRL and Kangaroos debut in the same year, becoming the youngest player to achieve this milestone,” O’Brien said.
Give back this Saturday on McHappy Day 2020!
“He's been a great servant for the club, in both good and tough times, while his attitude and commitment both on and off the field has always been outstanding.
“We are really pleased to see him get an opportunity to extend his career in England and the chance to travel with his family.
“He is a great young man, who leaves the club with the highest regard.
“Everyone at the Knights wishes him all the best for the future."
Mata'utia was a fan-favourite at McDonald Jones Stadium, with his tireless work in the community and resilient on-field performances earning the admiration of his fans, colleagues and fellow players.
The entire Knights community wishes Sione and his family all the best in their future endeavours.