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Matulino, Ta’ai extend Warriors contracts

Tuesday 3 Aug 2010 4:45 p.m.

Ben Matulino (Photosport)

Ben Matulino (Photosport)

Young forwards Ben Matulino and Ukuma Ta’ai have committed to the Warriors after signing new contracts.

Chief executive Wayne Scurrah today confirmed 21-year-old Matulino, who was off contract at the end of the 2011 season, has agreed to a two-year extension which will see him stay with the club until the end of the 2013 NRL season.

23-year-old Ta’ai, who was off contract at the end of this season, has signed a new deal for 2011 while the club has an option on him for 2012.

Warriors head coach Ivan Cleary said Matulino and Ta’ai had impressed with their progress this season.

“They’ve both become more established as NRL players and are showing the benefits of having more experience in the competition,” he said.

“Ben is still a young man but has already played more than 50 NRL matches and played Test football for the Kiwis. He has been a really solid performer for us this season.

“Ukuma has also shown a lot of improvement since making his debut at this level last year. He’s a player who is a real threat to opposition defences and one who has the potential to become a lot better yet.”

Matulino is one of only three players who has appeared in each of the Warriors’ 19 matches so far this season while Ta’ai has played 14 times.

Meanwhile, Scurrah said the Warriors had withdrawn from negotiations to sign Manly centre Steve Matai.

“We were keen to bring Steve to the Vodafone Warriors but throughout the process he has indicated it is his preference to stay with Manly if it was possible,” he said.

“We haven’t heard from his manager since making our final offer and have now withdrawn it.”

So far the Warriors have made three new signings for 2011 in Paramatta pair Feleti Mateo and Krisnan Inu plus former Vodafone Junior Warrior Steve Rapira, who is returning home after two years with North Queensland.

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